Perfectly crisped, tender, and flavorful Garlic Lemon Broccoli and Green Beans.
Was it one of your goals to eat more greens in 2017? It wasn’t mine either. It’s one of my goals to eat more greens in general. I applaud those who love veggies and are able to fit greens into every meal. But, that is just not me. I’m lucky if I can throw a salad together to have with dinner (no judgement, please).
In an effort to take charge of achieving my goal, I wanted to create a vegetable side dish that’s nearly effortless, flavorful, and full of greens. I’m happy to report that I succeeded and if you don’t learn how to make any other green side dish, learn how to make my Garlic Lemon Broccoli and Green Beans. If only for the technique so that you can use it to prepare your favorite veggies.
The method of cooking makes it both crisp (snappy, if you will) and tender and visually appetizing. Just look at how bright the green is! I love seeing green in photos and food :) The trick to retaining the vibrant green color is a quick cook in gently simmering water. The heat will cook the broccoli and green beans so that it’s cooked all the way through while also bringing out the green color. Then, a quick shock in an ice bath to instantaneously stop the cooking. Perfectly green every time! If you were to have cooked the greens in the hot water for a longer period of time and skipped the ice bath, you would most likely end up with mushy and dull green (almost brown) veggies. Not appetizing at all.
Now that you have perfectly cooked and bright green veggies, it’s time to add some flavor. For this Garlic Lemon Broccoli and Green Beans all I used were freshly sliced garlic and lemon zest. I simply heated the garlic in warmed olive oil to get a little flavor infusion, then I added the broccoli and green beans and lemon zest. Sauté for a moment and that’s it! I sprinkled on some Parmesan cheese (I didn’t say I was on a diet, just that I wanted to eat more greens!) and seasoned with salt and pepper.
There you have it. Perfectly crisped, tender, and flavorful Garlic Lemon Broccoli and Green Beans. Try it with Ina Garten’s Lemon Chicken for a completely satisfying meal.
- 2 broccoli bunches, stalks removed, florets separated
- 4 ounces fresh or frozen green beans, not thawed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Zest from 1 lemon
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Fill a large pot about halfway with water and bring to a boil. Lower to a gentle simmer and add the broccoli florets and green beans. Let simmer for 2 – 3 minutes, until bright green. Using a slotted spoon, immediately remove the greens and place in the prepared ice bath for 2 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook until just beginning to golden (do not let brown). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the greens from the ice bath to the skillet. Add the zest and sauté for 2 minutes. Off the heat and sprinkle with cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.