The Pungent Spice That Pairs Beautifully With Green Beans

Cooking green beans might seem simple and straightforward, especially if you have been doing it a while. You may even have a tried-and-true recipe that you never stray from. But there are a variety of green bean recipes to take for a spin and many ways to cook these delicious vegetables that don't include putting them in a casserole.

You can boil them in salted water, but Better Homes & Gardens says that you shouldn't boil fresh green beans for more than 15 minutes if you want them to retain some crunchiness. You can also microwave or air fry the green beans, bake them, and even grill them. Regardless if you are grilling, frying, or sautéing green beans, the way you season them is going to be just as important as the way you cook them. If you are looking for more than salt and pepper to spice up the green beans you serve as a side dish, you are in for a treat!

Spicing up green beans

According to Pinch Spice Market, green beans are so versatile that they pair well with just about any herb and spice — it all depends on the flavor you are trying to achieve and how you are cooking them. Garlic, parsley, basil, onion, rosemary and thyme, or even lemon all go great with spicing up your green beans. But there is one spice that not many recipes mention. It's pungent and can pack a kick if you use too much, but used the right way and it can elevate your green bean game. So what is it? 

Summer Savory, or Bohnenkraut, is the little-known spice that your green beans need. According to The Spice Shack, this spice is also known as "the bean plant," because it pairs so well with beans, complimenting the earthy flavor of lentils. This perennial plant has a strong flavor that is similar to oregano, and it can be dried to sprinkle in dishes or cooked fresh.

Green beans and summer savory

Spiceography says that you should remove summer savory from dishes before serving them because this plant can have an overpowering taste and odor in large amounts. This is why fresh summer savory is preferred in most dishes, rather than dried versions. According to MasterClass, this herb is a member of the mint family and has a peppery flavor, with hints of mint, thyme, and marjoram. It's often used as a salt substitute and flavors not just green beans, but also meat dishes and soups. 

 Of course, removing the plant could be hard to do in green bean casserole or with air-fried green beans, but you could use fresh summer savory with roasted or sautéed beans. It also pairs well with other members of the mint family, like rosemary, to help you kick up your green bean dishes a few notches, allowing you to experiment with flavors.