Basic Boiled and Buttered String Beans

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Recipe for Basic Boiled and Buttered String Beans. Here are perfect cooked string beans thanks to expert advice from James Peterson.


  • 2 tablespoons salt (for boiling beans)
  • 1 pound string beans, ends snapped off and beans cuts in half or quartered crosswise if large
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large covered pot. Toss in the salt and as soon as the water returns to the boil, add the beans. Don't recover the pot. boil over high heat from 4 to 10 minutes or until the beans are cooked but retain an almost imperceptible crunch--you'll have to spoon one out and bite into it. Drain the beans in a colander--don't rinse them--and put them back in the pot. Toss or gently stir the beans over high heat for about 1 minute to dry them. Turn off the heat, add the butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until the butter coats the beans. Serve immediately.