— Serves 8
900g green beans, stem ends trimmed
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt it generously (as though you were cooking pasta).
Add the green beans and cook for about 2 minutes - just until they're bright green and barely tender.
Drain the green beans in a colander, then transfer them to a kitchen towel to dry off a bit. (At this point, they can be cooled to room temperature, then refrigerated in a sealed zip-top bag for up to 3 days).
Place the butter in the largest skillet you have and set it over medium heat. Cook the butter until its foam subsides and the butter just begins to brown and smell like (and look like) a toasted hazelnut; this will take about 4 minutes. Watch closely, because the milk solids can burn very quickly.
Add the green beans and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring, until they are warmed through and evenly coated. Taste, and lightly season them with salt.
Transfer to a bowl for the table and serve right away.
TIP: For a twist: Add a bag of frozen peas to the green beans right at the end of their cooking/blanching time; top with toasted nuts (chopped or sliced almonds work well); and/or add herbs or spices to the butter while it's browning (fresh sage or thyme leaves, mustard seed or cumin seed are all great options).The cooked/blanched beans can be refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.