Garlic Green Beans

The green beans are finally here and I can't find enough ways to cook them. A few days ago I made the old-fashioned Southern green beans just cooked in pork stock with a little salt and pepper. It's hard to mess up a fresh vegetable.

This is a nice way to cook fresh green beans for a change. They are blanched in boiling water and shocked in ice water to maintain that bright color, then briefly sauteed in butter with minced garlic and parsley. For convenience, you can blanch and chill the beans and store them in the refrigerator for a day before sauteing and serving.

Makes about 4-6 servings
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1 pound green beans, washed and stemmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely snipped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fill a big pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the stemmed green beans, and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until tender but resistant to the bite. Drain the beans, and immediately plunge into a bowl of lightly salted ice water to stop the cooking. As soon as the green beans are chilled, drain them.

Heat the butter in a wide skillet until hot and foaming. Add the green beans, and cook, tossing constantly, until heated through. Add the garlic, parsley, a generous sprinkling of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper, and continue cooking 1 minute longer. Serve immediately.