Monday, October 29, 2018

Garlic & Lime Green Beans

Bowl of green beans with garlic and lime on a tan checkered placemat

Green beans are my favourite - I've always loved them and if I'm cooking a big meal, they're almost always a side dish of choice at my table. It's simple enough to boil or steam some green beans and enjoy them quite plain with just a little sprinkle of sea salt flakes, but it's pretty fun to jazz them up too and this recipe is so full of flavour. Quick, easy and so tasty it's almost indulgent, this green beans recipe will almost make you forget you're eating a vegetable. If you love garlic, this one is for you, but if you're a bit shy about garlic, feel free to cut the quantity in half to make it more suitable to your palate. 

Normally I am a garlic purist and insist on using fresh garlic, but for this recipe I love the pungent flavour of the prepared, minced garlic that comes in a jar. It's somehow bolder and also, it's easy. If you want to make an impressive side dish without much time or effort, this is it and using garlic from a jar makes it one step simpler. That said, if the idea of garlic in a jar makes you shudder, it's okay... Use 4 cloves of garlic minced, shredded or pressed garlic instead and you'll still have a tasty dish to enjoy. Similarly, I'm not opposed to using frozen green beans for this dish because the other flavours are so strong, but to be honest you can't go wrong with fresh and it's my preference - it just tastes better if you have the time to trim the beans. One final note - if you're cooking for a lot of people, simply multiply this recipe and it will work beautifully. Double, triple or quadruple the quantities and you're all set. Whether you're cooking these beans for just the two of you, the whole family or a large dinner party, this vibrant green side will be a flavourful complement to anything from traditional roast meals to Italian dishes.

close-up of garlic and lime green beans

200g fine green beans, trimmed and cut into halves or thirds
50g unsalted butter
Zest & juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon prepared minced garlic from a jar
Sea salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Fill a pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the beans to the water, bring to a boil again and cook for about 8 minutes until tender, but not squishy. If you like your beans softer (I do!), cook them longer - it's all about personal preference. Similarly, if you like your beans crispy, cook them for only 5-6 minutes.

2. Drain the beans and keep to the side. Add the butter to the pan over medium heat and melt.

3. When the butter is melted and starting to foam a bit, add the lime zest and garlic. Sizzle away for a minute or two to cook the garlic, taking care not to burn it before adding the lime juice. Toss the beans in the butter mixture and add salt & pepper to taste. Remove to a warmed serving dish and serve hot.

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