Julia Sullivan, the opening chef at Haven’s Kitchen, taught me the trick to this recipe. One night, I was sautéing beans in my usual way, and Julia said, “Save some of your minced garlic to throw in at the very end.” I did, and my usual way was forever altered.
You can substitute snap peas, asparagus, or blanched broccoli rabe for the beans. Or try long beans—ask your farmer for them or look for them online. Skinny and longer than green beans, they are worth hunting down.
Excerpted from The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School by Alison Cayne (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Con Poulos. —Alison Cayne
Test Kitchen Notes
Sometimes your go-to green beans recipe needs a makeover, and this is one of our favorite ways to jazz up a stovetop side, regardless of the vegetable you happen to be using. Quick, easy, and made with pantry ingredients, this is delicious enough for a weeknight dinner or as a dish for your Thanksgiving or holiday table. It's also a great way to keep the oven free if you're baking multiple dishes with different temperatures and cook times.
Finely chopped garlic and bright lemon zest and juice can help liven up any sautéed veggie, and the method and ratios used here are, in our opinion, ideal. Cooking the green beans in a couple of batches also doesn't overcrowd the pan, allowing the beans to both sauté and steam with a couple tablespoons of water for the best, crunchiest texture and results in a beautiful, bright green color. Alison Cayne, who developed this recipe, credits Julia Sullivan, the opening chef at Haven’s Kitchen, for the three lessons she learned when making this supremely simple side dish:
1. Make sure that the garlic is chopped evenly so as to avoid those tiny, bitter, burnt bits. Nobody likes burnt garlic!
2. Add the garlic after the the green beans because it will burn before the beans have a chance to cook all the way through.
3. Stir in the raw garlic at the very end. It melts with the heat of the cooked veggies, creating a creamy texture and a mellow garlic flavor. —The Editors
- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 10 minutes
- Serves 4 to 6 as a side
extra-virgin olive oil, divided
green beans, ends trimmed, divided
garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided
Fine sea salt
lemon, zested and juiced
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Cook half of the beans, stirring and moving the beans around the pan occasionally, for about 4 minutes, until tender. Add one-third of the garlic, a pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds, until the beans are cooked through. Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil, beans, one-third of the garlic, a pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons of water.
- Toss the beans with the remaining raw garlic and the lemon zest and juice.