The German Herb That Will Elevate Your Green Beans

When it comes to vegetables, green beans are like the middle child: They want to compete for our attention, but they aren't certain how to. Meanwhile, other green and colorful vegetables seem to have usurped the palate's preferences. According to a recent poll commissioned by Green Giant, a purveyor of vegetables, broccoli is the crown jewel. It was selected by 29 states as the top veggie they serve, winning it the title of America's favorite veggie, followed by corn and carrots. 

Poor green beans. It seems as if the only time they get a starring role on the dinner table is on Thanksgiving when the classic green bean casserole is made. But, as Southern Living points out, green beans are a powerhouse of a vegetable, loaded with vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. They are crunchy, delicious, and compliment many a dish. 

Green beans are worthy of our affection. However, if you have yet to find that standout recipe to prepare these green wonders or that magic ingredient that makes their flavor pop, you are in luck: There is a German herb that can elevate the flavor of your green beans and keep you coming back for more.

There are two varieties of this herb

According to My German Table, savory, which is part of the mint family, will totally change your feelings about green beans. The blog explains that savory is a common herb used in Germany alongside this veggie, noting its name in German translates to "bean weed." The blog goes on to reveal savory is often used not just for its peppery flavor, but for the fact that it can be beneficial with the digestive process, helping to eliminate flatulence. But interestingly enough, per MasterClass, savory was known as the "herb of love" during ancient Roman times, acting as a mild aphrodisiac. In fact, the site goes on to share European monasteries were not allowed to grow savory for this very reason.

There are two varieties of savory: a winter and a summer, per MasterClass. Winter savory is said to have essence of pine and sage, while summer savory is a little on the spicy and sweet spectrum. My German Table opts to braise their green beans with savory, while MasterClass suggests boiling them and them cooking them in a butter infused with savory and lemon juice. 

If you can't find savory, both outlets suggest trying thyme as a substitute.