When I was growing up my Southern grandmother did a lot of the cooking in our house. She lived with us and made biscuits so perfect they could bring tears to your eyes. She used to sit on the front porch every day, smoking, and sometimes, snapping beans for supper. Using a spoon she would snap off the ends of green beans, sometimes 6 or more at a time, snap the bean in half and toss it in her bean bowl. My brother and I and a bunch of the neighborhood kids would be playing baseball in our front yard (making a mess of the lawn my dad took such meticulous care of--he never could keep grass at the "bases") and she would watch us while snapping her beans. So, I thought about her this afternoon while I was snapping beans for dinner and watching "my program," as she would call our afternoon soap opera. I miss her terribly, but it's nice to know that little moments can bring me right back to my childhood--listening to the crack of the baseball on the bat while she snapped beans on the front porch.
You will need:
1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed
olive (or canola) oil
kosher salt (or sea salt)
foil-lined cookie sheet with sides
Aren't those beautiful green beans? They deserve another look...
Preheat your oven to 425.
I use a two-bowl system. One bowl for the cast-off ends and one bowl for the beans. Use a spoon to snap off the ends.
If you have long beans, snap them in half so they are all about the same size and will cook evenly.
My grandmother always boiled her green beans with bacon, Southern style. But I think she would love them prepared this way, too. Put the beans on the cookie sheet and drizzle them with oil. Use your hands to toss them around until they are completely coated.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if you like. I use Kosher salt, but if you are concerned about your sodium intake switch to sea salt. They will be perfectly seasoned with a lot less sodium.
Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Then remove from oven and toss.
Bake for another 8 minutes and they are done. Easy as that. They will be slightly browned. If you want to fancy them up, toss in some toasted almonds or even some bacon bits. But I like them plain.
They are so good! I eat them like candy and we never, never have leftovers.