Lemon Garlic Green Beans

These green beans are zesty and bright, with a glorious depth of flavor from the garlic. The recipe is as simple as it is delicious, with only a few ingredients. One of the ingredients is preserved lemon, which sounds lot fancier and more involved than it actually is.

Preserved lemons are just lemons that were stored for at least 2 weeks in an air-tight jar with kosher salt and their own juices. The salt and acid in the lemon juice preserves the entire lemon, rind and pith (the spongy, white material between the rind and the juice-filled pulp) included. This process softens the sharpness of the lemons and transforms the rind and pith from bitter and unwelcome to briny, lemony, and a little bit tart. Of course, if you don’t have preserved lemons, you can always substitute the zest of 1 lemon and just salt a little bit more aggressively at the end to make up for it.

In addition to adding its distinctive savory, sulfuric flavor, the garlic in this recipe provides a fun science experiment opportunity for kiddos when it interacts with the lemon and turns a bluish green! It’s one of my favorite food experiments, and it happens very quickly after you mix the citrus with the garlic. A chemical reaction takes place between the copper in the lemons and the sulfur (and a few enzymes) in the garlic, turning the garlic a greenish blue color. However, if you’d prefer to forego this reaction, you can use older garlic (which will have lost the enzymes) or ¼ tsp of garlic powder instead.

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In a medium-sized skillet, heat the oil on medium-high until rippling, then add the garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the preserved lemon and stir, taking a moment to marvel at the garlic’s swift change in color (or not if you decided against it). Cook for a minute or 2 and add salt and pepper to taste. Turn the burner off, but leave the skillet where it is to keep it hot.

Place the green beans into the water and boil until they are tender but still crisp and bright green, about 3-5 minutes.

Transfer to a ice water bath and then immediately remove and toss in the warm lemon garlic oil. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with a pinch of Maldon salt and lemon zest, and serve immediately.

Lemon Garlic Green Beans

Becca Gallick-Mitchell
These zesty, bright green beans are mouthwateringly lemony with a savory depth from the garlic.
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • ½ preserved lemon (or the zest of 1 lemon) very thinly sliced
  • 1-3 cloves garlic (depending on how strong you want it- I use 3 cloves), minced
  • 2 tsp avocado oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • ½ lemon, juiced and zested (the zest is optional for garnish)
  • 8 oz green beans, trimmed
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pinch Maldon salt, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large saucepan full of aggressively salted water to a boil. This will be for blanching your green beans.
  • In a medium-sized skillet, heat the oil on medium-high until rippling, then add the garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the preserved lemon and stir, taking a moment to marvel at the chemical reaction that takes place between the copper in the lemons and the sulfur (and a few enzymes) in the garlic that turns the garlic a greenish blue color. If you don't like this discoloration, you can always use older garlic cloves (which will have lost the enzymes) or ¼ tsp of garlic powder instead. Cook for a minute or 2 and add salt and pepper to taste. Turn the burner off, but leave the skillet where it is to keep it hot.
  • Place the green beans into the water and boil until they are tender but still crisp and bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a ice water bath and then immediately remove and toss in the warm lemon garlic oil. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with a pinch of Maldon salt and lemon zest, and serve immediately.
Keyword French Beans, Garlic Green Beans, Green Beans, Haricot Vert, Lemon Garlic, Lemon Garlic French Beans, Lemon Garlic Green Beans, Lemon Garlic Haricor Vert, Lemon Garlic String Beans, Lemon Green Beans, Preserved Lemon, String Beans

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