Green beans are great for stocking in the fridge because they don’t go bad easily. Plus, they’re very quick to cook. Just a quick saute and you’re done. Aside from the usual Filipino-style Ginisang Bitsuelas where green beans are sauteed with pork and shrimp paste, I also like giving green beans a quick saute in olive oil and garlic, with a dash of balsamic vinegar for a pseudo-Mediterranean feel. I tried green beans marinated in balsamic vinegar before at some Greek restaurant and I really enjoyed it, hence this attempt.
This is a pretty easy dish to cook. I simply start off by washing the green beans, draining them, then pinching the ends off. Then, I pull the threads from the side. I snap them into shorter 2 to 3-inch pieces, pulling out additional stray threads if there are some left.
I smash and mince garlic. Lots of it. At least 3-5 cloves, depending on the size of the cloves. This is one dish where you can’t have too much garlic.
Then, the fun begins. I heat up a pan, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. I throw the garlic in, sauteing just until the edges brown ever so slightly. Browning too much makes it burn by the end of the cooking time. Browning just ever so gently gets you nice, crisply textured garlic bits. At this point, I throw in the beans to slow the garlic’s browning down and to start cooking the green beans.
Ignore the oil spatters. That’s just the oil showing its appreciation of the green beans. Mix it well to distribute the garlic evenly and to ensure that the beans get love from the heat equally. Generously dust with sea salt. Go with fancy schmancy salts if you’re feeling sophisticated.
You can stop at this point and I won’t blame you. It’s a yummy enough dish at it is. But if you’re looking for a hint of sweetness and a tangy bite, add a teaspoon or two of balsamic vinegar. Distribute evenly, take off the heat, then serve on a pretty dish. Pat your back for a job well done, all in under 15 minutes.
Balsamic Green Beans
v. 11 May 2012
- 100 grams green beans
- 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 tbsps olive oil
- a dash of rock salt
- 1-2 tsps balsamic vinegar
- Prepare green beans by washing, stringing and cutting into bite-sized pieces.
- Saute garlic in olive oil.
- Add green beans.
- When done, top off with balsamic vinegar. Mix well.