My family likes green beans but sadly I have been very uncreative with them. My best green bean dish consists of blanched green beans sauteed in a little butter, freshly ground salt and pepper, lemon juice and scallions. Do you have any favorites? Just as a side note, my preference is to not add a lot of calories, so I would prefer not to add crumbled bacon, etc. Thank you.
You can make them Southern-style, but without something porky, they won't be the same. What you'd want to do is cook those green beans (cut in half lengthwide and topped) in water w/ a little salt for at least an hour. (covered.) Add sauteed onions, and cook another half hour. Taste for salt and pepper. Now add quartered new potatoes; just place them atop; cover the pan and cook until potatoes are completely tender - skins should be starting to pull off. Toss it all together, taste again for salt, drain extra liquid; add a dab of good butter and just a dash of vinegar. Serve at table w/ hot pepper vinegar so people can add more.
Ordinarily, you'd be doing this by stewing the beans down with some ham hocks or salt pork or bacon and following these delicious. I can't believe how hungry this just made me.
I like to make them the way you do "sweetpotato", except minus the scallions & lemon juice & adding a goodly amount of dried or fresh-chopped Marjoram to taste. Marjoram is my favorite "go to" herb for fresh green beans - whether bush, pole, wax, or flat romano/runner type.
The Ritz in Paris makes their green beans by sauteeing them in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper until they're bright green (but still crisp) -- then they add a little chicken or veal stock and braise another 5 minutes until done. *delicious* and easy.
You can also roast or grill green beans -- toss in olive oil, and spread out in a single layer on a roasting pan -- oven roast at about 375 until they begin to color just a little and are crisp-tender (or to your taste) -- the dry heat brings out an entirely different flavor profile that is just delicious.
We usually eat the skinny little ones (haricots verts) steamed lightly and tossed with a little butter. Probably our all-time favorite.
But I make them Southern style (see mamachef's post above) just because we like 'em that way.
(Mamachef, you got me, too...might have to find some beans tomorrow.)
Try them Szechuan style--stir fry til barely tender, add some fish sauce and Thai sweet chili paste. For a main dish version, add ground pork and serve with rice.