If I know one thing, it’s that you’re not eating enough green beans. Or rather, you’re sticking them in one dish and not thinking about them very much otherwise.
I get it. Green beans are not the most glamorous vegetable in the world (yes, we know, technically green beans are fruit we treat like vegetables), but their texture and mild flavor make them perfect and versatile for experimentation.
Do not relegate the underrated bean to just one dish! There are many ways to incorporate the snappy green veggie in your life beyond just drowning it in an admittedly delicious mushroomy casserole.
Instead of just blanching green beans for a side dish as you usually do, try one of these twists to make them truly superlative.
Green Beans With Lemon Relish, above. Chop up briny preserved lemons and mix with olive oil and shallots, then serve this tangy relish alongside gently blanched green beans. A quick, easy and exciting way to make a classic preparation stand out.
Brown Butter Green Beans. Another simple and quick way to spruce up a side of blanched beans is to brown your butter. Nutty, complex, with just a little bit of salt, brown butter makes basically anything better.
Next up: make them the focal point of a salad, where they’re all the green you need.
Green Bean Salad With Potatoes, Capers and Eggs. This delicious Weeknight Vegetarian recipe piles up green beans, red onions, steamed (you read that right, folks!) eggs and capers to make a Nicoise-like salad without the tuna. With plenty of briny elements and olive oil, this salad will disappear fast once folks get started.
Green Bean, Shell Bean and Sweet Onion Fattoush. Fattoush, a bread-based Middle Eastern salad, is perfect on its own, but for a little twist, green beans add delicious snap.
Roasted Carrot, Green Bean and Coconut Salad. This salad, starring dukkah, an Egyptian spice and nut blend, is going to be a desk lunch hit or a dinner party star. Tons of flavor and crunch will make this one of your favorite salads.
Take it from a side or salad and make it the main focus of dinner.
Zippy Green Beans. Cut up into little pieces and sauteed with coconut oil, mustard seeds and some ginger, these beans take after an Indian dish from Kerala called thoran. Serve with rice or roti, and perhaps one of Priya Krishna’s potato recipes.
Ginger-Garlic Chicken With Green Beans. You might have tried something similar from your favorite Chinese takeout place, but with broccoli instead of green beans. This brothy version, with its chicken-soup vibes, reads a little lighter.
Don’t be afraid to pack in some powerful flavors! Green beans can take on a lot of flavor, and both temperature and heat can give this simple green an edge.
Stir-Fried Green Beans With Peanuts and Arbol Chiles. Amp it up with arbol chiles and a searing-hot wok.
Blackened Green Beans With Garlic, Sesame and Ginger. Get your skillet hot, and don’t shy away from some good char! A light garlic-ginger-miso dressing lets those blackened bits bring out the best in the bean.
More from Voraciously: