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Green Beans with Garlic and Lemon

Tender but not soggy, al dente but not hard, this recipe really lets the beans shine. Garlic, green beans and lemon. What's not to love?
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Author The Cowgirl Gourmet's husband, David, makes this recipe


  • 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


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. This will take about 2-3 minutes and then squeeze a half of a lemon in the pan and stir to coat.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.