This dish is so easy to make that it almost doesn't even warrant a written recipe. That said, it's nice to have a reference for how to prep ingredients like these Romano beans, a less-common variety of snap beans. If you can't find fresh Romano beans, you can sub in green beans; shorten the blanching time by a couple of minutes so they don't get overcooked. See notes below for Romano bean prep.
Shopping for and Preparing Romano Beans
When I was a kid, every grocery store in Mississippi carried Romano beans—except they were labeled, and we called them, pole beans. These broad, flat snap beans are in the same family as green beans and have a similar flavor, though a little bit sweeter, and a meatier, firmer texture. Nowadays, I don’t see them in regular grocery stores but do find them at farmers’ markets and farm stands. I have to say, they are absolutely worth seeking out for that great flavor and irresistible texture.
We’re all pretty used to stringless string beans, so prepping these guys will provide a little nostalgia for those of you who remember pulling strings. (I did find some Romano beans at the farmers’ market a couple of weeks ago that were stringless, but most of the ones I’ve found this summer have strings.) Hold a pod, snap off the stem end, and pull down to remove the string. There might be strings on both sides of the bean, so snapping the bean in half or thirds will give you another shot or two at removing all strings. Once they’re prepped, you’ll want to blanch them for a few minutes in boiling water before finishing in the skillet for this recipe.
They’re also amazing grilled, so give that a try. Prep as explained above (including blanching), drain, and toss with oil before placing over hot coals for a minute or two on each side.