The key is using beans that are actually good. I used haricot vert as they are nice and crunchy, but if you have the pleasure of a farmers market near you, it's pretty easy to find blue lake, yellow wax or purple beans and those will work just as well.
If you don't have a farmers market near you or don't have access to beans, use your own judgement. Just make sure they are young, which means nice and skinny with snappy pods, not fat and full of beans. Safeway sells bagged organic haricot vert which worked out just fine.
FOR GODS SAKE, don't use canned green beans.
Green beans with bacon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 pieces thick cut bacon, chopped into little bits
- half of a sweet onion, finely diced
- one clove of garlic, smashed
- one pound fresh green beans, washed and with the tips snapped off
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- a drizzle of olive oil
- the zest of one lemon
- half a lemons worth of juice
- Melt the butter in a heavy pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the bacon and cook for a few minutes until it begins to crisp, then add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the green beans and toss to coat with the onion, bacon and butter mixture. Add a little olive oil if it looks dry.
- Add the red pepper flakes, lemon zest and lemon juice.
- Continue to cook, stirring often, until the green beans are crisp-tender, about 5-10 minutes depending on what sort of beans you got. Tasting is key!
- Add salt and pepper to your liking.