There are two veggies that I have zero tolerance for when they come out of a can - string beans and carrots. Although I (almost) always prefer fresh veggies, I do eat my fair share of canned corn, peas, beets, asparagus, etc. It's funny how much I like canned asparagus and fresh asparagus, but you can barely even recognize them as the same thing. Anywho...when it comes to green beans and carrots, what I can't stand about the canned versions is that they are usually dark little blobs of mush! I like my veggies to have a little snap to them.
I think the best string beans I have EVER had were on my last trip to the Outback. Ha, just realized that sounded like I went to Australia. I meant the restaurant. They were a nice bright green and had just the right bite to them.
Try as I may, this is the closest I can get. Chinese restaurants are usually pretty good with green beans too, but most other restaurants make them seem like something off a bad buffet line!
Minced garlic (I use the jarred with red peppers for this)
Sesame seeds (optional)
Plunge the beans into boiling water for about 30 seconds, then immediately into an ice bath to prevent them from cooking further.
When your other dinner items are almost ready, saute the garlic in the sesame oil, then add the beans just to heat them through.
If you're using sesame seeds, you can either sprinkle them on at the end and toss them with the beans, or toast them when you're cooking the garlic - just keep an eye on them so they don't burn.
Because some people don't digest seeds well, sometimes we use them, and sometimes we skip them - depends on who's home for dinner.
Blanching them, then just bringing them up to temp at the end keeps their snap while still imparting the flavor of the oil and garlic.
EAT YOUR VEGGIES !! ;)