Penelope Casas’ Garlic Green Beans (Judias Verdas con Ajo)

Penelope Casas’ Garlic Green Beans (Judias Verdas con Ajo) 



Spanish cuisine is a favorite of mine, and Penelope Casas has written many definitive books on the food and wine of Spain. This recipe gets straight to the heart of what’s best about beans…

Author Notes: This technique looks embarrassingly simple, and it is. But it shakes up our habits, and with four ingredients, lets green beans become their best selves. Resist the temptation to add liquid. The beans will stew in their own juices, and their flavor will be completely undiluted. You could leave the garlic out, but its pushy sting will soften a little on the warmth of the beans. Adapted from The Foods and Wines of Spain (Knopf, 1982). 

Serves 4

  • 3/4pounds fresh green beans
  • 1tablespoon butter
  • 1clove garlic, crushed
  • Coarse salt
  1. Snap off the tops of the beans. Melt the butter in a skillet, add the beans, and cook them over a medium to medium-high flame, stirring, until they begin to brown.
  2. Lower the flame, cover, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until the beans are the desired tenderness, stirring occasionally.
  3. Mix in the crushed garlic, sprinkle with salt, and serve immediately.


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