Simple Sides: Green Bean Medley

Monday, May 07, 2012

As part two of this week's Sunday Dinner series, I served a delicious vegetable side dish with my Oven Barbecued Chicken. Easy to prepare and a colorful accompaniment to any entree, these green beans are sure to please a crowd. Although I frequent the farmer's market often for fresh produce, my grocery store sells bags of fresh French green beans meant to be steamed in the microwave. They're just a couple bucks, so I tend to keep a couple bags in the freezer for convenience. I don't own a microwave, but the quality of the veggies in those steamer bags is usually better than ordinary frozen vegetables so I use them instead. It's a great alternative to canned vegetables, and as a bonus they are already cleaned. If you use frozen green beans, place them in a colander and allow them to thaw out and air dry for a few minutes before cooking. French green beans are relatively thin so a quick saute works fine to cook them. If you substitute a generic green bean variety (they are much thicker) you should trim them, blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes, and rinse in ice cold water.

Green Bean Medley 

1 lb. fresh French green beans
1 orange bell pepper, cored, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, plus additional wedges for garnish
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, stems removed and finely chopped
Sea salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp Olive oil

Servings: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Equipment Needed: Large fry pan

The peppers and onions should be sliced in uniform size in length and width similar to the green beans. Heat the olive oil in your skillet over medium high heat, and add the onions.

Saute until onions soften, 2 -3 minutes, and then add the garlic and a pinch of sea salt. Stir the onions and garlic and continue to saute another 2 -3 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Adjust your heat down slightly if necessary.

Add the sliced bell peppers and saute until crisp-tender, 2 -3 minutes.

Add the green beans and saute another 3 - 4 minutes until green beans are crisp-tender and thoroughly warmed.

Add fresh thyme, juice of 1/2 lemon and season to taste with salt & pepper. Turn down heat. Green beans can be served immediately or allowed to cool to room temperature. Serve with additional lemon wedges for garnish.

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