Since a side dish ideally should be simple to get on the table, our goal with this one was to coax out as much flavor with as little fuss as possible. The beans are quickly pan-steamed in a skillet, then tossed with olive oil, red pepper flakes, lemon, and a hearty sprinkling of black pepper. What remains are some seriously tangy, peppery green beans and only one skillet in the sink.
- 1 pound fresh green beans
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice plus zest (½ lemon)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Remove the ends of the beans. Zest and juice the lemon. Place the beans in a large skillet with ⅓ cup water, and heat over medium-high heat. Once the water begins to boil, cover the skillet and boil for 4 minutes. Then uncover and cook until the water is fully evaporated.
- After the water has cooked out, carefully add the olive oil (since any additional moisture can cause momentary spitting), red pepper flakes, and kosher salt. Sauté, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes more until tender. Turn off the heat and remove the beans to a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and several grinds of black pepper. Taste and adjust the flavors as needed.