Before I ever saw this recipe, I could never imagine treating fresh from the garden green beans this way. Aside from quickly blanching them until bright green, adding a plop of butter and sprinkling them with sea salt, I never did much else before putting them on the table. Then, last summer I came across this recipe that implored in the head note for readers to just try it at least once considering that the longer cooking time and high heat was against the current popular way of preparing fresh summer vegetables with as little interference to their natural state as possible. I dared to dive in. Who can resist a large amount of butter and the promise of caramelized garlic? Not me. These beans are coated with flavor and still have some bite in spite of being slightly browned, bringing out even more of their beany flavor. And you won’t be able to resist picking at the crisp bits left in the pan as you are cleaning up the kitchen.
Caramelized Green Beans with Garlic
1 pound fresh green beans, large ones snapped in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
5 to 6 cloves garlic, smashed
Prepare green beans by picking off stems, snapping in half and washing. Drain well. Melt olive oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add green beans and toss to coat. Add garlic and toss, again. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Turn heat up to medium high and allow to cook for about 25 minutes, tossing occasionally. Green beans are ready when most of them are browned and the garlic is crispy on the edges. Serve warm. Still delicious when reheated.