Green Beans Genova Style
Fagiolini alla Genovese

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Green Beans Genova Style
Fagiolini alla Genovese
cookbook: Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy
main ingredients: anchovies
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serves: 6 servings

Here's another example of a simple vegetable sauté with brilliant Genovese touches. As in the preceding spinach recipe, anchovies provide salty savor to the green beans, and slivers of garlic and lemon bring additional flavor notes. Great as a vegetable side dish anytime, these beautiful beans make a particularly delicious accompaniment to grilled steak or lamb chops.


1½ pounds fresh green beans
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, sliced
¼ lemon, sliced in thin 1/4-moon slices
6 small anchovy fillets, finely chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and prepare a large bowl with ice and water to chill the beans after you cook them. Trim both ends of the beans and remove the strings, if they have them. Toss all the beans into the boiling water, and cook until tender but not mushy, about 7 minutes. Lift the beans from the cooking water, and drop them into the ice bath to set their color. When cool, drain the beans, and dry them on towels. One by one, split the beans open along the seam with your fingernail or a paring knife, and separate each into two long halves, with the small seeds exposed. Open all the beans this way.

Pour the olive oil into the pan, drop in the butter, and set over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, scatter in the garlic slices and get them sizzling, scatter in the lemon slices, and drop in the chopped anchovies. Cook and stir for a couple of minutes, until the anchovies melt into the oil, then toss all the split beans into the pan. Season with the salt, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, tossing the beans continuously in the flavorful oil, until they're thoroughly coated and hot. Serve immediately.

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