Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Italian Sauted Green Beans

Pick beans when they are small.  Big green beans aren't tender or tasty.  If you are buying them from the store or farm stand, take the time to pick out the smaller ones.  In fact, you should never feel embarrassed to pick through produce and get exactly what you want. 

Green beans are very good for you, easy to grow, and frugal.  Only the cost of a package of seeds.  More importantly, they provide a life long memory for the kids.  Talk about it: growing, picking and eating "our own" produce.  We find things under the bushes we want to look at.  Bugs, other plants, interesting things in the dirt.  It is fun and good for them.

Italian Sauted Green Beans
2 cups fresh green beans, snipped and cleaned.
2 big garlic cloves or 3 small garlic cloves, minced
1 T. olive oil
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. fresh ground pepper
1/2 t. dry oregano leaves (or 1T. fresh finely minced)
1 T. white wine, water, or broth
1 small tomato, diced.

Snip smallish green beans and break in half.  Wash thoroughly in a colandar.  Let drain.  In a large skillet, heat oil until a drop of water gives a medium sizzle.  Add beans and move them around with a spoon to coat.  Add salt, pepper, and oregano.  Increase heat to medium high and continue stirring for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and wine and tomato.  Stir to combine well.  Reduce temperature to medium, add a lid and steam for an additional 5 minutes.  

Just a few hints from someone with just a little experience. 
  • The beans should be well drained before they hit the hot oil.  Just saying.  If you are in a hurry, dry them with a paper towel.  Thank me later.
  • Get your hand wet under the sink then splatter a drop at the skillet to determine how hot the skillet and oil without danger to you. 
    • Keep a lid close by.  If it sizzles too much, put the lid on. 
    • With more experience, you'll get a medium sizzle without drama.  
  • Burned garlic doesn't taste good.  Many recipes add the garlic early in the saute.  I think add it late. 
  • The purpose of the wine is to give liquid to steam the vegetables softer and flavor.  If you don't like or don't want the wine, use water or broth. 
  • A drop of my favorite hot sauce isn't a bad idea if you like that sort of thing. You could leave the fresh ground pepper out and add more hot sauce.
Remember to make real food.  


  1. What a lovely way to prepare green beans - sounds delicious!

  2. YUM, thanks so much. I love green beans and always on the lookout for a new way to fix them.

  3. Hi again, please send me an email letting me know your state, I would love to add your blog to my blog roll, I enjoy your down to earth style. Thanks so much.