Garlic beans can be prepared in many different ways, of which I have chosen three to present here. First two are very simple and quick to make side dishes – the only difference between them is that the first one is a so called “raw” version in which the garlic has been pressed on cooked beans while in the second one the garlic has been baked in butter with beans.
The third one needs a bit more work, but is by no means too laborious. They all taste good in their own way and I prepare these depending on how much flavour I feel like. When it comes to the specific amount of beans, well that is all up to you – make as much as you feel is needed, either a small portion or a whole big pot of beans.
If you are using fresh green beans, wash them in clear, cool water. Break off the ends and cook them whole.
Version one: cooked beans and raw garlic
Cook the beans in generous amounts of salty water until they are evenly cooked. That takes about 15-20 minutes. Drain well.
Put them in a serving dish, pour in some olive oil and sprinkle some salt to your taste. Press in from one to four garlic cloves. Add one at a time and taste after each clove. Raw garlic is strongly aromatic and you have to be careful not to add too much. Toss well.
Version 2: Pan cooked beans with garlic butter
Cook the beans in generous amounts of salty water until they are almost done. That takes about 10-15 minutes. Drain well.
Put some olive oil and butter in a medium hot pan. Add pressed garlic cloves to your taste. Since the flavour of garlic softens a lot when cooked you do not have to go too easy on the number of cloves.
Add beans and let it simmer until evenly cooked. Add salt to your taste.
Version 3: Beans simmered in tomato and garlic sauce
This side dish can be done in a large frying pan or in a big pot if you are doing such a big portion that there is no suitable sized pan.
The ingredients of this recipe is enough for 2-3 persons.
- 200 g green beans, fresh or frozen
- 1 dl olive oil
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- salt, sugar, black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Blanch the tomatoes: cook by dipping briefly into boiling water, then directly into cold water. Peel off the skin and mash them with a fork.
Cut the onion finely.
Heat up about one deciliter of oil in a medium hot pan. Add the chopped onion and press in the peeled garlic cloves as well. Let them simmer a while and then add the mashed tomatoes. Spice with salt, a pinch of sugar and one spoonful of balsamic vinegar.
Add the beans and let it simmer until they are evenly cooked.
If you want, you can also add some herbs, for example parsley, basil or oregano. Experiment! And enjoy!