When it comes to home-cooked food, I'm not too hard to please. Give me simple food that tastes good and is good for me, and I'm happy. String beans have both those qualities, plus they are super easy to prepare - no scrubbing, peeling, soaking, or chopping. The French variety don't even need any trimming. Just a quick rinse and they are ready to use. String beans are my go-to food. I make them at least once a week and I never tire of them.

Here's a simple and classic way to prepare string beans. Yes, this recipe does have butter, but it's less than a teaspoon per serving, and it really makes them special. You could substitute canola or olive oil, but I'd really rather you didn't. (And, please, no margarine or butter substitutes.)

Garlic Parmesan String Beans
You can prepare these in advance, except for the last step (garnishing with Parmesan), and leave them sitting at room temperature for a few hours. When you're ready to eat, rewarm them briefly in the microwave or on the stove before adding the cheese. 

1 pound string beans, preferably French, trimmed if necessary
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

Put the string beans into a small saucepan. Add water to come about 1/3 of the way up. On high heat, bring to a boil and simmer for just 2-3 minutes. Make sure the beans are still a bright green. Drain and leave uncovered.

Meanwhile, in a large (preferably cast iron) frying pan, heat the butter on medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook stirring for about 2 minutes, until the garlic is letting off a nice aroma.

Add the drained string beans and cook, stirring from time to time, for about 5 minutes to incorporate the flavors.

Transfer the beans to a serving platter. Sprinkle the cheese over them and serve immediately.

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