Slow Cooked Green Beans
I can’t be alone here. There has got to be others out there that were sadly disappointed when the ‘fresh’ green bean trend hit the waves. The crunch, the bitter flavor, the waxy skin – none of it even closely resembles the delicious canned version. Anyone with me? And by the way, ‘fresh’ green beans could have always been a thing, but they weren’t in Wausau, WI. We ate a lot of canned green beans and we loved them. But maybe it was the small town, maybe it was the long cold winter, or maybe it was because my mom had 4 kids all 2 years apart. We didn’t get fresh green beans until much later in life (my mom was an AWESOME cook, PS).
But one day she came home with fresh green beans, and after faking it for nearly 20 years, I am coming out now. I don’t like them. I like the salty, soft, forest green canned version. I don’t care if ‘some of the nutrients’ are lost in the canning process or if I’m going to die from the amount of sodium they put in there – I LOVE THEM.
But, because I’ve been faking liking the canned version for a very long time – some habits are hard to shake. I was at Trader Joe’s last week, and I bought them. They were pre-washed, pre-cut, pre-everything. Ready to cook. Seemed easy and healthy. And by the way – my husband has told me for years that he doesn’t really like green beans. So basically I was forcing all of society’s green bean ideals on us for dinner that night.
But, (third paragraph starting with but)…but, something happened by accident that day and I can’t believe it took me so long to figure out. If you SLOW COOK the green beans, in something salty like chicken broth….for like 1.5 hours….they taste JUST LIKE the canned version, but BETTER. They are salty, soft, melt-in-your-mouth, and that dark green color that we all know and love. And yet you can taste an element of freshness that elevates the flavor. My husband loved. I loved. The twins loved. They’re the easiest side dish of all time. You guys, I’m making these weekly. And definitely using them in the green bean casserole for Thanksgiving.
- 1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
- 2 cups chicken broth (I used a mid-sodium broth, like 550mg/cup)
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1.5 tablespoons light butter spread
- Fresh lemon and parmesan to top (optional)
In a large pot combine beans, broth, water, S&P (you will need more salt if you use a very low sodium broth). Cover and cook over medium/low on a low simmer for about 1.5 hours. Drain. Toss with butter, fresh lemon, and parmesan if using. But definitely don’t skip the butter.