Got a package of frozen green beans lounging in your freezer? Here’s an easy way to put a party dress on those wallflower frozen vegetables, and push them out onto the dance floor. (Apologies for the metaphor. I’ve got cabin fever.)
My child found this recipe on the Bon Appetit website, and made them for Easter dinner. We had fresh green beans at the time, sigh.
The recipe is simple: Sauté the green beans in oil at high heat. Put the beans on a serving dish. Sauté garlic and capers in the same pan, then pour them over the beans. Sprinkle with salt, and serve.
Fresh green beans are a distant memory due to our pandemic shopping schedule, but those Easter beans were delicious, so I decided to try making the recipe with frozen whole green beans. I didn’t thaw the beans before sautéing them, so they took a few minutes longer to cook.
The frozen beans worked better in this recipe than fresh beans. They were crisp and a little crunchy. That’s because freezing removes moisture from food.
Don’t cut the garlic slices too thin, or you’ll end up with cinders of blackened garlic. Drop the garlic and capers into the hot pan, and sauté them for less than a minute until they both turn a light brown color.
Top the beans with the garlic slices and capers, then spritz the beans with a pinch of salt (pink, if you’ve got it). Serve them hot as a side dish. At room temperature, they make an irresistible crispy snack.
Cinderella would be proud.
Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Capers
Sautéed at high heat with garlic and capers, fresh or frozen green beans blossom into an elegant side dish.
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1-pound package frozen green beans
- 6 large cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
- Pinch salt (I use Himalayan pink salt)
In a large, deep skillet, heat the oils on high heat.
Open the package of green beans, and divide in half. (Don't let them thaw.)
When the oil is simmering use long tongs or a long-handled wooden spoon to spread half the green beans over the bottom of the skillet. The oil will splatter, so step back, and use a screen or, briefly put a lid over the pan until the splattering stops.
Watch the beans closely. As soon as they start turning brown on the bottom, use a spatula or tongs to flip them over and cook them on the other side. Don't stir the beans.
When both sides are light brown, use tongs to remove the beans to a serving dish.
Brown the other half of the green beans, and remove to serving dish.
Drop the garlic and capers into the hot oil, and sauté them for less than a minute, stirring constantly.
Pour the garlic and capers with any leftover oil on top of the green beans.
Sprinkle with salt, and serve immediately.
Heat the olive and coconut oils until they’re very hot.
Drop half the frozen beans into the pan. Spread them into a single layer.
Cover the pan, or use a screen to stop the hot oil from splattering.
After 3-4 minutes, the beans should begin to brown. Turn them over with a spatula or tongs until they’re browned on all sides.
When the beans are light brown and crisp, use tongs to place them on a plate, and repeat with the other half of the beans.
Chop the garlic into thick slices.
Chop the capers. When the beans are done, drop the garlic and capers into the hot oil for less than a minute until they turn a light brown.
Sprinkle the garlic and capers over the beans, and serve immediately.