Simple Smoky Romano Beans


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.

Yield: 4 (serving size: about 1 cup)

Simple Smoky Romano Beans

prep time: 5 Mcook time: 13 Mtotal time: 18 M
Oh yeah—this is the type of easy veggie dish I want (no, demand!) on repeat all summer long. It goes with anything and darn near steals the show despite its simplicity. It's quick to make, holds up well as leftovers, and seems to one-up regular green beans because of the meatier texture of Romano beans. (Of course, regular green beans will work beautifully here if you can't find Romano beans.) One simple spice addition gives it that type of can't-put-your-finger-on-it flavor oomph that makes a dish truly memorable.


  • 1 1/4 lb. fresh Romano beans (see notes below)
  • 1 1/2 slices thick-cut bacon (I know, it's an odd amount. But 2 slices were too many, and 1 slice wasn't enough.)
  • 1/4 to 3/8 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


How to cook Simple Smoky Romano Beans

  1. Snap off stem ends of beans, pulling and discarding any strings. Snap beans in half or into thirds, and leave smaller beans whole. 
  2. Bring a large Dutch oven full of water to a boil. Add beans; boil until crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and plunge beans into ice water to stop the cooking (or rinse under cold tap water). Drain well.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut bacon crosswise into 1/2-inch strips. Add bacon to pan; cook until crisp, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving drippings in pan. Add coriander to drippings; cook 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Add beans to pan; cook until thoroughly heated and lightly seared in spots, tossing frequently, about 4 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper. Sprinkle with bacon.


Calories 114; Fat 4g (sat 2g); Protein 3g; Carb 14g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 2g (added sugars 1g); Sodium 232mg
Created using The Recipes Generator

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.