- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound green beans, stem ends snapped off, beans cut into 2-inch pieces
- Table salt and ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Combine butter, garlic, and thyme in small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until just smoking. Add beans, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes.
Add water, cover, and cook until beans are bright green and still crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove cover, increase heat to high, and cook until water evaporates, 30 to 60 seconds.
Add butter mixture and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until beans are crisp-tender, lightly browned, and beginning to wrinkle, 1 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer beans to serving bowl, toss with lemon juice and parsley; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
For Sautéed Green Beans with Smoked Paprika and Almonds: Follow recipe for Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Herbs, omitting chopped thyme and parsley. Stir 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika into softened butter with garlic. Sprinkle cooked beans with 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds before serving.
For Spicy Sautéed Green Beans with Ginger and Sesame: Combine 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, and 1 tablespoon chili-garlic paste in small bowl. Follow recipe for Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Herbs, substituting vegetable oil for olive oil and increasing amount to 2 teaspoons. Cook as directed, replacing butter mixture with sesame oil mixture and omitting lemon juice and parsley. Sprinkle cooked beans with 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds before serving.
For Sautéed Green Beans with Roasted Red Peppers and Basil? Combine 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 medium shallot, minced, and 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes in small bowl. Follow recipe for Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Herbs, replacing butter mixture with oil-shallot mixture. Add 1/3 cup roasted red peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, to pan with oil-shallot mixture. Substitute 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar for lemon juice and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves for parsley.