Green beans are now in season, and I find that when they are very fresh, the most enjoyable way for me to savor them is to simply boil them in salted water, until tender but crisp. I then sprinkle the green beans with kosher salt, and let me tell you, when they are fresh and crisp like this, they make not just a great side dish, but a wonderful snack that you can serve and eat as a finger food and get that peculiar satisfaction that we humans get when we eat something crunchy and salty.
- 1 lb. fresh green beans, ends trimmed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt for the cooking water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Optional: 1 tablespoon butter
- Pick through the beans and discard any that are withered or discolored. This simple cooking method is suitable for only the freshest of beans.
- I prefer to leave green beans whole, they make such a great finger food when left at their full length, but to serve at dinner, you might want to cut them into 3-inch pieces.
- Drop the green beans into a large pot of boiling, salted water, just enough water to cover the beans (you'll need to eyeball it). Bring back to a full boil and cook, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 5 minutes - but start checking after 3 minutes (take one out of the pot and taste). With such basic preparation, it's really important that the beans remain firm - soft and limp will not do.
- Drain the beans into a colander, shake dry and season with kosher salt. You can use other seasonings of course, and a generous pat of batter on top of the hot green beans is heavenly, but really, when they are fresh, green beans only need a little boiling and some salt.