For many who cook, it is therapeutic, and, for others, it is a chore. I fall into the former category.
Cooking provides me with a source of creativity and freedom that I relish and one where I can add a splash of whimsy whenever I want with a little more of this or less of that. The best part is watching others savor every bite. Because of my early days spent in the kitchen with family, cooking grounds me and nourishes my body and soul.
The way David prepares green beans is probably nothing unusual, really, but maybe it is the utter simplicity that makes it so special. The trick is to find the freshest green beans you can. The ones from a farmers market are picked at most 48 hours, but more likely 24 hours before purchase. Unlike grocery store varieties, these green beans didn’t travel 1,400 miles and reach me two weeks after being harvested and that’s a huge difference in flavor.
The best part of David’s green beans is that we eat them with our fingers. Eating with your hands always makes everything better, doesn’t it? Not that these green beans could be any better, but try it at home and let me know what you think…
Green Beans with Garlic and Lemon
- 1 pound green beans rinsed and trimmed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more if needed
- 3-5 garlic cloves or more, peeled and sliced
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest or thinly sliced lemon peel
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Maldon salt for plating
Fill a non-stick saute pan with water, add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the green beans. Gently nudge the green beans in the pan so they all get covered with water. It will take a few minutes to bring the water back to boil, so be patient.
We cook the beans 5-7 minutes. Test a green bean and taste it to see if it's cooked the way you like it. If it is, drain the beans in a colander and if it's not, cook them longer. When ready, drain beans and set aside.
Using the same saute pan, dry it out, place over medium high heat and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, toss in the garlic and and stir to coat. After about 30 seconds, add in the green beans and begin to toss so every green bean is coated with olive oil. Stirring frequently will ensure that the garlic does not burn and the green beans cook evenly.
This will take about 2-3 minutes and then squeeze a half of a lemon in the pan and stir to coat.
Toss in the lemon zest or sliced peel and butter, sprinkle generously with kosher salt or Maldon salt and add lots of freshly ground black pepper.
Stir again so all of the flavors meld. Taste a bean and add a little more salt or olive oil, if needed. While hot, serve generous portions, sprinkle with a touch of Maldon salt and dive in.