If you’re anything like me, and have eaten half your weight in candy over the last week or so, you’re probably in need of some dark green veggies to counteract all of the chocolate.
Balance, and all that.
These skillet green beans are just the ticket – super healthy, delicious, and on the table in under ten minutes. Win, win, win.
When it comes to sturdy green veggies – like green beans, broccoli, asparagus, and the like – I’m a big fan of quick, high-temperature cooking.
A splash of oil (usually olive), salt and pepper, and a quick sizzle, so their outsides just begin to soften, but retain some vibrant green color and freshness. There should be an al dente bite when they hit the plate, no mush, thank you very much.
Garlic is nearly always a welcome ingredient, as is a generous seasoning of kosher salt and pepper. A sprinkling of salty cheese is also really wonderful – sharp cheddar with broccoli, Parmigiano-Reggiano dusted over asparagus, or in the case of these verdant green beans, crumbles of umami-rich Gorgonzola blue cheese.
These skillet green beans make a quick and easy side dish to any number of dinners, but they’re notably a healthier recipe to add to upcoming Thanksgiving and holiday family meals.
Fresh and crisp, a quick sauté in the skillet lets the natural flavor of the green beans shine, which is further highlighted with a dash of garlic and a light topping of blue-veined Gorgonzola cheese.
I like to use haricot vert – the slender French variety of green beans – which are more delicate in texture and flavor, but larger, traditional green beans are nearly as great, and abundant this time of year.
These green beans also don’t take up precious oven space – unlike their more indulgent, cream-of-mushroom drenched cousin, the traditional green bean casserole – which is often at a premium during day-long holiday preparations. They add a welcome bit of freshness to an otherwise carb-heavy and meat-laden meal.
It’s simple, healthy, green goodness, and leaves lots of room for that leftover Halloween candy…
- 2 tsp olive or coconut oil
- 1 lb green beans,¹ trimmed
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp crumbled blue cheese (like gorgonzola)²
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the green beans, and gently toss with tongs or a spatula to coat in the oil. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Add the garlic, and cook, stirring often, until just tender, but still vibrantly green, 1-2 minutes. Add a minute as needed for larger beans. Sprinkle with the blue cheese while still warm. Serve immediately.
¹ Look for slender haricot vert (French green beans) if you can find them, which have a more tender texture and delicate flavor. Fresh or frozen green beans will work here. For frozen green beans, defrost for a minute or two in a bowl of lukewarm water before adding to the skillet.
² I also love these skillet green beans with a dusting of Parmesan cheese in place of the gorgonzola.