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charred green beans on platter
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5 from 6 votes

Flat Green Beans (charred)

Flat green beans - also known as Romano beans, Italian flat beans, runner beans and pole beans - are a nice change from the more common variety of green beans. They make a delicious side dish when quickly blanched, charred and drizzled with a simple vinaigrette. Just 10 minutes!
Prep Time6 mins
Cook Time4 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian, Vegetarian
Servings (change as needed): 3
Author: Cheryl


  • 1 pound (450g) flat green beans, tips cut off
  • Garnish options: lemon zest, chopped fresh mint leaves, sea or kosher salt. Note 1

Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice (or wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic or more (or 1/8 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (or 1/8 teaspoon lemon pepper)
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • optional: 1 tsp honey or maple syrup; 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes.


  • HEAT GRILL: to medium high. Fill large bowl with cold water with a cup of ice.
    °Option 1 in microwave: Place washed trimmed beans in a large microwave-safe bowl or plate. Cover with plastic wrap or another plate. Microwave on high for 1 1/2-3 minutes. You just want the beans partially cooked and flexible. Cooking time will depend on microwave wattage and covering (covering with plastic wrap takes less time). °
    ° Option 2 in boiling water: Alternatively, place beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain.
    Immediately drop blanched flat beans into bowl of ice water for 2 minutes to keep vibrant green color. Remove beans and pat dry with paper towel.
  • MAKE VINAIGRETTE: Whisk together lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, salt, pepper in a small bowl or measuring cup. Slowly add oil while whisking until well blended. Shortcut: use a store bought vinaigrette dressing instead.
  • GRILL: Lightly spray beans with oil. Place them in a single layer on grill (perpendicular to grates so they don't fall through). Alternatively, use a grill basket sprayed with oil. Grill for 1-2 minutes until charred to the way you like them. Flip and grill other side. Don't overcook or they will become mushy. Note 2 if you have no grill.
  • FINISH AND SERVE: Transfer to serving platter. Drizzle on dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle lightly with sea or kosher salt. Garnish with 1 tsp lemon zest and chopped fresh mint leaves if desired (note 1). Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. Garnish options:
    • a few drops of sesame oil or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction.
    • crushed toasted nuts for crunch
    • add 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
    • sprinkle with Italian seasoning
  2. Instead of grilling: Heat oil in a cast iron pan or large skillet on the stove top to medium-high heat. Add beans and cook in hot oil for a couple of minutes until you get a nice char. If beans are too long, cut them in half. 
  3. Make Ahead
    • Blanch the flat green beans ahead as per instructions above and place them in ice water to stop the cooking process. Pat dry and keep on counter for several hours of overnight in the fridge.
    • When ready to serve, grill beans (or char in a cast iron skillet) for a few minutes until charred. Toss with vinaigrette and add garnish.
Nutrition values are estimates. 
Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 213mg | Potassium: 327mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1045IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg