Ronnie Shushan, the designer of this cookbook and a writer who is working on a book about the creation of the Spiral House, gave us this recipe because we share her love of garlic. A staple of both the kitchen pantry and the herbal medicine chest, garlic is reputed to contain a little bit of just about everything our bodies require. Long, slow cooking — in the skillet here or oven-roasted — mellows garlic’s pungency and gives it a creaminess that makes it spread divinely on a good bread.

Serves 4 for each pound of string beans


8 cloves garlic, peeled (at least 2 cloves per serving, more if you are a garlic lover)
extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound green beans, blanched or not, depending on size and personal preference
coarse salt
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, or more if you like
crusty bread (optional)


  1. Sauté the garlic cloves in olive oil over very low heat until they are soft all the way through and a little browned but not burned. Be patient, stir often, and keep an eye on the pan.
  2. When the garlic is lightly brown and tender, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside for finishing.
  3. Add the beans to the garlicky olive oil and cook over high heat until tender-crisp. It’s fine if some of them are a little blackened.
  4. Season with a good coarse salt.
  5. Toward the end of cooking, add the chopped parsley, and return the garlic to the pan for a quick stir.
  6. Serve with a good crusty bread.


We like to use wide Italian-style green beans in this dish.