Glaze Green Beans With Oil and Broth

I’m not sure when I first tried green beans without a casserole, but I don’t remember being particularly impressed with them. In fact, I don’t think I was impressed with green beans, baked or not, until I blistered them and seasoned them with Szechuan spices at a Chinese restaurant. It’s still my favorite green bean, but it’s hard to cook properly at home (or at least at my house; a glass stove isn’t suitable for wok cooking).

But these Glazed Hair Pinwheels (French String Beans) from Food52 are everything I want from a green bean recipe: easy, quick, and flavorful. Instead of being blanched and then flavored, the beans are simmered in a mixture of broth and oil to give them “direct access to substances that will add flavor rather than deplete it.”

The recipe calls for a ratio of 4 tablespoons unsalted butter to 3 tablespoons stock for every pound of green beans. The recipe also calls for a couple of cloves of minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Boil it all together for about eight minutes in a covered pot until the green beans are bright green and tender but not mushy, and you’re done. The combination of butter and broth forms a sauce that adds flavor to the beans. Sprinkle with parmesan if you like.

This is a good recipe, but it also makes a fantastic base for making your own green bean dream. Add ginger, fresh herbs, whole spices, or chopped fresh chili to the garlic, or experiment with the broth. I used Better Than Bouillon fried onion cheat broth and it was delicious. (Actually, I recommend BTB over stocks unless your stocks are delicious.)

You can add the recommended parm to the beans, but I’m a big fan of parm, lemon, and plenty of fresh pepper . A drop of wine dilution or a drop of white wine vinegar will also do the trick. Once you learn how to make these glazed greens, you won’t be able to stop your brain from coming up with variations.

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