Green beans are a spring and summer favorite. Simply steamed and seasoned, this side dish yields flavorful results with minimal effort. Steaming also helps vegetables retain their vital nutrients. This recipe doesn’t call for a steamer basket, but you can use one if desired.
Steamed Green Beans with Olive Oil & Sea Salt
1½ pounds green beans
- Fill a pot or high-sided pan with about ½ inch of water, and bring to a boil.
- In the meantime, wash the green beans and trim the ends.
- When the water comes to a boil and the vapors release, add the beans and quickly cover. Turn the heat down to medium.
- Steam for about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the desired consistency. Less time yields a more crisp texture, while more time will result in a softer texture.
- Strain and place the beans into a bowl.
- Wipe inside of the pot to dry it, and add approximately 2 tablespoons of oil. Place over medium heat and toss in the beans.
- Sauté for about 1 to 2 minutes. Salt to taste. Adjust seasonings and serve.
- Steamed Green Beans with Tomatoes. Chop 1 small tomato and sauté with the green beans.
- Steamed Green Beans with Toasted Almonds. In a pan, toast ¼ cup of sliced almonds until golden. Turn frequently to prevent burning. Plate the green beans and top with toasted almonds.
- Steamed Green Beans with Sesame Seeds. When you’re ready to serve, garnish with sesame seeds to give the dish a little color.
If you’re unsure how to “salt to taste,” sprinkle the beans with a small amount and taste one. You can always add more salt, but you can’t take it away. As you continue to season your food with mindfulness, you’ll learn the quantities that suit your preferences.
Green beans contain fiber, vitamins (like A, C, and folate), and minerals (such as iron, calcium, and manganese). They’re also a great source of antioxidants, which may help fight the aging process, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In other words, Mom was right: eat your green beans!
If you garnish your green beans with sesame seeds or toasted almonds, be sure to add them right before serving. Seeds and nuts can fall to the bottom of the bowl or get soggy if they sit too long.