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Buttered Green Beans with Onions

Serves 4

Sometimes, the simplest things are the best. I just love green beans made this way, with butter and a touch of onion. But I could never understand why my grandmother's and my mother's buttered vegetables were so much better than others I tasted. Then, years ago, I watched someone else make buttered green beans and noticed that she did not drain off the water. My mother always drained her vegetables, then added the butter, salt and pepper. Drain the beans. It makes all the difference. If desired, the drained liquid can be packed and frozen for use in a vegetable soup or stock.


Place the beans and onions in a medium saucepan. Add enough water to come up about half way. Season lightly with salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 40 minutes depending on age and size of beans. Drain thoroughly. Add the butter, additional salt and pepper to taste. Stir well. Let set over low heat, covered, until butter has melted, about 5 minutes. Stir again before serving.

Notes: My grandmother canned green beans every summer so they could be enjoyed throughout the year. Therefore, on occasion, I use store-bought canned beans for this recipe and, although fresh are always better, I enjoy the canned flavor. If time is very limited, you can use dried chopped onions in place of the fresh. You will only need about one teaspoon.