Lemon-Garlic Yellow Beans: A Summery Side

I may not be the biggest fan of vegetables but summer, with its vibrant farmers markets, always manages to lure me to the green side.

Or, as this week had it, the yellow side.

A late-afternoon visit to my neighborhood market this week yielded a lovely surprise — bags of bright yellow string beans going for just 50 cents.

What to do with them? I decided to take them home and see …

Now, I’d not cooked much with yellow beans before but they didn’t seem that different from green beans, which I adore sauteed in bacon grease and tossed with crunchy bits of bacon itself.

When it’s hot out though, even bacon feels a little heavy, sacrilegious as it is to say. Instead, something far simpler and a little brighter on the palate seemed in order.

So, out came the garlic, some super-fresh parsley, grated lemon and lemon juice. And that’s all I needed for a little perfection.

The beans — crisp to the bite and tangy on my tongue — turned out to be a perfect accompaniment for a quick chicken piccata that night, too.

So if you happen to find yourself faced with a table of bargain beans at your farmers market, here’s my recipe below.

Buon appetito!


Lemon-Garlic Yellow Beans


  • 1 lb yellow beans
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (add more if you like garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • 1 TB minced parsley


Wash beans and snap the ends off, then blanch them for two to three minutes in boiling water.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan — when the butter has melted, add garlic and stir-fry it for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Then add add lemon juice, give that a stir and toss in the beans. Mix well so the beans are coated, then cover and cook for a minute or two. Pour the bean mixture into a bowl, toss with grated lemon and parsley and serve immediately.


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