Romano Beans in Butter-Braised Garlic ♥

Just look at that caramelized garlic!Who knew that garlic could turn so sweet? The garlic cooks on a low flame in butter for nearly 45 minutes, seemingly doing nothing for the longest time, then quite quickly turning a sizzly golden color, all the while filling the air with gorgeous garlic aroma, then transforming into something I'm tempted to call 'garlic candy', sweet and yet still garlicky, not crunchy, the texture of, say, licorice. Garlic Magic!!

The beans are the flattish romano beans that I fell for last year -- ha! romano beans must really scream for garlic, check out Garlicky Romano Beans, especially if you limit saturated fat -- but any fresh green bean will do, I think.

NUTRITION NOTES The full 3 tablespoons of butter provides needed volume to braise the garlic. But it's also enough to 'dress' three or even four pounds of beans. For just one pound, it pools unappetizingly in the serving dish. Next time I'll set aside a couple of tablespoons of the braising butter for, say, a mean salad dressing, before dressing the beans.

OFF TO CHICAGO Tomorrow I'm off to attend Blogher '07, where I'm happy to meet so many food bloggers in person for the first time ('oh! you look nothing like the picture on your blog!' and 'you look so different than you sound on the phone'!). My primary question during four days of motivational speeches, geeky technology stuff (and no doubt, ooohing and aaaahing over smashing shoes) is to figure out why in the world anyone would blog about things other than food. Ideas? Oh! And food bloggers who aren't in Chicago? When your pots (get it?!) burn, you'll know ... we're laughing over your last kitchen mishap or nodding in admiration over that last wonderful cake. You'll be missed, one and all! TAG:blogme2007

FROM THE ARCHIVES See the Recipe Box for all the green bean recipes.

A YEAR AGO THIS WEEK Refrigerator Pickles! From my Kitchen Parade column, a pair of refrigerator pickle recipes, one with cucumbers and peppers, another with Brussels sprouts

TWO YEARS AGO Eggplant Sandwiches with Cilantro Hummus


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 40 minutes
Serves 4

1 big pot of heavily salted water (this means 2 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of table salt for a pound of beans)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 or 5 or more large cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed flat with the blade of a knife (I used my own homegrown garlic)

1 pound green beans (or any snap bean), ends snapped
1 tablespoon fresh sage [the inspiring recipe says 1 teaspoon or a pinch of dried]
[1 tablespoon fresh parsley, suggests the inspiring recipe, I skipped this]
Good salt to taste (I used large flakes of Maldon salt for real bursts of saltiness)

Bring the water to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a skillet eventually large enough to hold the beans, too, melt the butter on the lowest flame. Add the garlic when it's prepped, COVER and let cook, watching the flame so the butter doesn't burn, letting the garlic warm slowly until it begins to sizzle and turn golden, watching very carefully after that. At some point along the way, chop or mash the garlic into small bits and return to the skillet to continue.

While garlic braises, cook the beans in the water til the desired doneness (I think just past tender-crisp is right for this, you want the butter to be able to soak into the flesh a bit when the time comes) is reached. Drain in a colander.

When the garlic is done, if you like, reserve a couple of tablespoons of the butter for another use, then stir in the beans and rewarm. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with good salt and serve.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Well, butter, yes that would have to be garlic heaven, I've been doing mine in olive oil. But maybe every 5th time I could use butter.
    It is a surprise when garlic is so sweet isn't it.

  2. AnonymousJuly 25, 2007

    Oh, I love sweet, slow-cooked garlic. Dave's been doing crunchy garlic similarly in olive oil, and it's just wonderful.

  3. Oh I love summer produce. I've been preparing green beans and snow peas in the same manner. Delicious.

  4. Heaven! Those beans sound SO good. I wish farmers would grow Romano beans here. I'll have to see what I can find. Whatever beans I use, I'm definitely making this!

  5. Another delicious-sounding recipe! I can imagine how wonderful it would be with all those fresh young garlic available at the moment..


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna