Penelope Casa's Garlic Green Beans (Judias Verdes con Ajo)

By • August 6, 2013 • 22 Comments

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Author Notes: This technique looks embarrassingly simple, and it is. But it shakes up our habits, and with four ingredients, lets green beans become their best selves. Resist the temptation to add liquid. The beans will stew in their own juices, and their flavor will be completely undiluted. You could leave the garlic out, but its pushy sting will soften a little on the warmth of the beans. Adapted from The Foods and Wines of Spain (Knopf, 1982).Genius Recipes

Serves 4

  • 3/4 pound fresh green beans
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Coarse salt
  1. Snap off the tops of the beans. Melt the butter in a skillet, add the beans, and cook them over a medium to medium-high flame, stirring, until they begin to brown.
  2. Lower the flame, cover, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until the beans are the desired tenderness, stirring occasionally.
  3. Mix in the crushed garlic, sprinkle with salt, and serve immediately.

Topics: Holiday Entertaining

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Comments (22) Questions (0)


3 months ago monkeymom

Thank you for this great recipe! So easy and delicious. I will be making this again and again!


7 months ago James Wang

Hope it's not too spicy. :)


about 1 year ago LeeLeeBee

I made these green beans for my parents, who are of the "boil it to death" school of cooking vegetables... but they loved this recipe! Beautiful recipe.


over 1 year ago Diana

These were absolutely delicious & easy to make! Thanks for the recipe.


over 1 year ago ChiFoodLover

I think I've found my favorite way to cook green beans. They're absolutely delicious!


over 1 year ago riv

Absolutely brilliant :)


over 1 year ago Jennelle

I have a pound of beans in my fridge now. I was just going to cook them the same old way I always do. I'm glad I saw this today!


over 1 year ago GregoryBPortland

I have made this recipe about four times since I read it here. Funny, I never noticed it in Ms. Casas' wonderful THE FOOD & WINES OF SPAIN. I've been cooking out of this superb cookbook for more than thirty years. So this recipe is now added to my rotating menu of favored vegetable dishes. Sadly, I just read in today's New York Times, that Ms. Casas has passed away at age 70. Another favorite recipe from this classic is Stuffed Red Cabbage (Lombarda Rellena). This is a very good recipe for company, as it is put together and then baked in the oven.


over 1 year ago Rkelly3042

I actually did not like the texture of the beans cooked in this way. They were a bit tough. Maybe I just didn't have the best beans. I think I will blanch them and then warm them in butter and add the garlic instead next time.


over 1 year ago krisanderic

Just need to add my two cents - absolutely fantastic! I'd intended to have kale with our grill-roasted chicken, but ended up picking beans too. Definitely a keeper - only now the beans will never make it to the freezer!


over 1 year ago Scarlett Lee

Just did this with equal parts green beans and leeks (matchstick cut), omitted the garlic. Splendid!


over 1 year ago figleaf

I cooked the beans tonight. They were wonderful and easy. Adding the garlic to the end of the recipe I thought was brilliant. Served with fresh Chinook lined caught off the Oregon coast and it was a memorable dinner.


over 1 year ago meemee

Delicious! Such an easy cooking method that gives the green beans so much flavor!


over 1 year ago Bob

Used this recipe for the first time last night and was really impressed with the flavors. My wife said it was one of the best recipes and cooking method for green beans. Compliments, Penelope!


over 1 year ago leeso

extremely delicious.


over 1 year ago linzarella

These are incredible.


over 1 year ago A-villeEpicure

The crushed garlic isn't too strong/overpowering since it isn't cooked to mellow it a bit before serving?


over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

The garlic mellows out a little when it hits the still-warm beans and pan, but if you're sensitive to raw garlic, you can always leave it out or cut it back to taste.


over 1 year ago fearlessem

Doesn't the butter burn?


over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Nope! If it looks like it's getting too brown, turn the heat down a bit and/or cover the pan sooner (which will trap the steam the green beans are giving off so they stew in their own juices).


over 1 year ago Angie_the_cook

Made these tonight - what a fantastic method. My new way to make green beans, for sure!


over 1 year ago ina baron

I've always loved green beans in my favorite Chinese restaurant.
Their appearance is quite similar and the taste is so wonderful.