1poundfresh green beansaka string beans, ends trimmed
½teaspoonkosher salt+ more for seasoning the boiling water
¼teaspoonground black pepper
1teaspoonlemon zest - Optional
Place 6 cups of water and 2 tablespoons salt in a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice and water. Line a sheet pan with a few sheets of paper towel. Set them aside.
Carefully add the green beans into the boiling water. Cook until crisp and tender, 5 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon or a spider strainer, transfer the green beans into the ice water. Let them cool to room temperature completely for about 5 minutes. Drain and then transfer on to the sheet pan lined with paper towels. Dry as much as you can.
Melt the butter in a large skillet (10 or 12 inch) over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds.
Add in the green beans and gently stir to make sure they are coated with the butter and garlic mixture. Sautee, turning often, for 2-3 minutes or until green beans are softened but still tender.
If preferred, toss in the lemon zest at the last minute. Transfer the beans on a plate and serve.
Make ahead: To make ahead green beans for a crowd, parboil your green beans ahead of time, dry them off completely, and store them in the fridge in an airtight container. Then, right before serving, heat the butter and garlic in a large skillet. Add the green beans and stir until cooked through and thoroughly coated in the butter mixture.
Store: If you have any leftover green beans (not sautéed), dry them off after parboiling and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. If they are sautéed, you don’t need to dry them off before storing them.
Reheat: To reheat plain green beans, add a little bit of water to their container and microwave them for a few minutes until hot. You can also saute them with a tiny bit of water on the stovetop. If the green beans are sautéed, you don’t need to add water before reheating.
Double the recipe: Whether you’re cooking green bean recipes for Thanksgiving dinner or a party potluck, it never hurts to make extras. You can easily double (or triple!) this easy green bean recipe to feed a crowd.
Add flavor: The best way to cook green beans is by adding enough flavor. Two tablespoons of unsalted butter and two garlic cloves are an excellent place to start for one lb. of green beans. However, you can always use more garlic and more butter if you want a more sumptuous flavor.