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Basic Blanched Green Beans
Microwave method |To microwave, spread about a Ĺ lb. of beans in a large bowl with about 1 inch of water. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap and microwave about 2 minutes, or until bright green and tender. Drain the water.
Blanch method |Cook green beans in rapidly boiling water for about 2 Ė 4 minutes. Immediately plunge into cold water. This will stop the cooking process and keep the bright green color. Donít leave them in the water, or they will be too cold to melt the butter. This technique also works well for asparagus.
Once youíve got your green beans cooked, melt a pat of butter or drizzle some olive oil, about one tablespoon, over the cooked beans. Add the juice of half a lemon (or to taste) and toss with a few sprinkles of salt. Seasoning salt also adds a nice flavor.
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One of my favorite ways to cook green beans is to roast them. Roasting with lots of garlic and onions makes the green beans savory and tender. While still hot, the beans are dressed with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar, which sets off the smooth sweetness of the roasted garlic and onion. Itís a really unusual and impressive dish to serve friends.
Roasted Green Beans
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is heating, spread the green beans, onions, and garlic on a baking tray. Drizzle with the olive oil and mix to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake about 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender and slightly wrinkled. While the beans are still hot from the oven, coat with the vinegar and add a little more ground pepper, if desired. If you would like, toss the finished beans with pine nuts. These are great hot or cold. The roasted garlic should be smooth and mellow, and will taste great if picked out and spread onto fresh bread.