Balsamic Green Beans with Onions

February 23rd, 2013

After spending a week in North Carolina in the cold and snow, I have a new appreciation for the Florida weather.  For all of you who live in the northern climates, I understand the need for warmth and comfort in your diet.  But even here in our milder climate we crave the same things; roast beef cooked long and slow, simmering soups and warm bread.  Winter vegetables are usually the root variety; the kinds that can bury their goodness below ground away from the chill of the season.  We have been eating carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and beets.  But I did find some Florida grown green beans the other day.  They were fresh with a good snap to them.

Green beans, by themselves, can be kind of boring in my opinion.  So I decided to amp up the flavor by adding onions; lots of them.  Have you noticed how many recipes start out with “chop up an onion”.  We probably eat more onions that any other vegetable.  When cooked slowly they caramelize and become sweet and pungent.  They are a good counterpoint to the crisp green beans.  Add in some balsamic vinegar and you have a tasty side dish.

Florida strawberries are in the markets now too.  I love getting a jump start on Spring.  This is the time of year I yearn for the sight of daffodils and cherry blossoms. It won’t be long before we return to North Carolina and the flowering dogwoods.  Spring in the mountains is glorious.  But in the meantime I will enjoy my seasonal Florida fruits and vegetables.


1 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
3 onions, halved and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 pound of green beans, tops trimmed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Blanch beans in boiling water for 2 minutes.  Remove and place in a bowl of ice water to set the color.  Place on paper towels while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Melt butter and oil in a skillet over moderate-high heat.  Add onions and cook stirring often for about 6 minutes.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute more.  Add chicken broth and cook for about 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add the blanched green beans to the skillet along with the balsamic vinegar, cover and cook for about 4 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Note:  I did not blanch my beans first and found them to be too crisp and not as green as I would have liked.  Next time I will do them as I have indicated here.

Printable recipe

17 responses to “Balsamic Green Beans with Onions”

  1. bellini says:

    How I am longing for some crispy green beans fresh from the garden.

  2. Kat says:

    We have a favorite green bean salad. Very simple too. It’s just slightly cooked green beans and thinly sliced onions and lots of mince garlic mixed in a vinegar/oil dressing. Sometimes using Good Season’s zesty Italian on it. It is best made in the morning and soaking in all that goodness all day long. Delicious. I like the thought of the carmelized onions in it. Might just have to give this one a try. I guess we are getting FL. green beans right now in our produce section as well as the strawberries. The green beans I bought are so fresh and sweet!

  3. kwklett says:

    Penny – the boards look fantastic! Great styling all around! Check your email – I found another source 🙂 Love you!

  4. Karen says:

    Sounds yummy. I hardly cook anything without first starting with onion!

  5. larry says:

    Looks like a good way to make them less boring especially since we like balsamic and, like you, we use onions in most dishes.

  6. Barbara Williams says:

    Your recipe is such an easy way to bring flavor to green beans, Penny. Everyone has onions and balsamic in their pantry…great idea!

  7. Kate Zeller says:

    This time of year we start getting the flat beans which are a welcome change from all the cruciferous veggies of winter. I often put onions and bacon with beans.

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  9. Susan says:

    Penny, I have found the Florida green beans rather tasteless. I simply have not thought about blanching first, but will definitely try that next time. Love the touches you added.

  10. Ann says:

    When are you suppose to add the balsamic to the beans? I believe a garlic clove was left off the recipe. I am such a new cook…I need all the help I can get!

    • Penny says:

      Sorry I left out that step. Add the balsamic vinegar when you add the beans. I made the correction to the recipe.

    • Penny says:

      So sorry Ann. Add the garlic after the onions have cooked down. Then add the balsamic when you add the beans to the pan. I am having technical problems with editing the recipe. Hang with me and I will make it right.

  11. Susan says:

    We eat lots of onions too! I love the idea of adding them to green beans to make the beans more palatable!

  12. Michelle says:

    Just had this as a side for dinner tonight – LOVED it! Came across the recipe on pinterest and so happy I did! I only had two onions and that was plenty, from your photos it looks like the onions I used must have been a lot bigger than the ones you used. Already looking forward to my leftovers tomorrow!

  13. Anonymous says:

    This article is a great help to me! Thank you!…

  14. Anonymous says:

    very good and cool,thank you for your sharing….

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