When making this dish, you can use whatever vegetables speak to you at the supermarket—or better yet at the farmers' market. I often make this with all haricots verts (which is basically French for string beans). These are thinner and more tender than regular string beans, but you can absolutely use any variety of string beans here, or all sugar snap peas or snow peas, or some asparagus cut up into two-inch pieces. A vegetable combo is just slightly more festive. Sautéing in butter and then adding some water for a quick steam results in veggies that have a nice light buttery glaze, without a whole lot of fat. You can use olive oil, but try the butter.

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish


Make sure when you trim the green beans and sugar snaps that as you snap off the end you pull the string so that it comes up and off the length of the bean. This little step will reward you with no strings to get stuck in your teeth.
  • 1 1⁄2 Tbsp. unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, chopped or thinly sliced, or 1⁄2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1⁄2 pound haricots verts or green beans, trimmed
  • 1⁄2 pound sugar snap peas
  • Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest (optional)


Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter or olive oil. Add the shallot or garlic and cook until tender, about 4 minutes for the shallot or 1 minute for the garlic.

Add the haricots verts and sugar snap peas to the skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are nicely coated with the butter or oil, about 2 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover the skillet, and steam the vegetables until they are bright green and almost cooked through, 3 minutes longer. Remove the lid, stir the vegetables, and cook until the liquid has evaporated and the vegetables are cooked to your liking, 1 to 2 minutes.

Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and/or pepper if necessary. Toss the vegetables with the lemon juice and zest, if using, and serve.

From The Mom 100 (Workman) by Katie Workman.


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