Garlic Green Beans
I’m straight-up obsessed with garlic. It’s pungent and spicy, yet sweet and savoury, and it is my go-to flavour to add to any dish. It can easily take a humble vegetable and turn it into a culinary experience with one simple ingredient, just like these Garlic Green Beans.
The thought of buying, peeling and chopping garlic used to annoy me. It seemed like such a meticulous task that was not worth the reward, but when it comes to cooking it turns out that the little meticulous tasks are the ones with the biggest payoffs. Garlic is part of the allium family (closely related to onions, shallots and leeks) and it is a classic ingredient that has been used since the beginning of recorded history and is still commonly used in present day. It is the base of many French, Italian and Indian dishes, as not only does it provide flavour but is well known for its medicinal properties. The sulfur-containing compounds in garlic are known to help boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and even improve cardiovascular health.
There are many different varieties of garlic available, and although grocery stores often sell just one you can buy multiple varieties at your local farmers market as they vary slightly different flavour profiles. Thankfully, garlic is not as scary as many people make it out to be, so here are a few quick tips for selecting, buying and storing garlic.
- The entire “head” is called a garlic bulb, while each segment is called a clove.
- Leaving the bulb whole of garlic whole is the best way to store fresh garlic, as it will last several months.
- Local fresh garlic season runs from mid-summer through early fall, so try to buy it in season for maximum flavour and health benefits.
- In stores, purchase garlic that is plump and has unbroken skin. Gently squeeze the clove to ensure it is not too soft.
- Store fresh garlic in a cool and dark space, moisture is garlic’s worst enemy.
These Garlic Green Beans are worth every little bit of work to peel, chop and cook your garlic, and they make an excellent side dish to any dinner or summer BBQ.
Garlic Green Beans
Time permitting you could also blanch the beans quickly in a pot of boiling water to help tenderize them a little bit. Simply bring aa pot of water to a boil and immerse the beans for 1-2 minutes before adding them to the skillet.
- 1 lb. green beans, ends trimmed
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- Optional: Zested lemon and almond slices
- In a skillet on medium to high heat, melt the butter. Add garlic and green beans and toss to coat in butter.
- Allow beans to cook in skillet for 7-8 minutes or until bright green and tender yet crispy. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
- (You can also boil your beans first for 3 minutes until they are bright in colour, and then add them to the pan to coat in garlic and butter for 1-2 minutes.)
- Season generously with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. If desired add zest of half a lemon and roughly chopped almonds.
- Serve and enjoy!