Meatless Monday: Skillet Seared Green Beans with Lemon and Cotija Cheese

Tori Avey’s website has been a life saver being a shiksa married to someone who is “Jew-Ish”.  I want the boys to know about their heritage and be familiar with the rituals of Judaism.  Passover begins tonight and we are hosting a seder!  Below is one of the recipes that I’m using.  As soon as I saw the words: cotija cheese, I was in.  Make this for Passover, or any night because these green beans are delicious!

Skillet Seared Green Beans with Lemon and Cotija Cheese


1 lb green beans, trimmed
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp crumbled cotija cheese (optional – you may substitute feta or omit to make it dairy free)


  1. Pour about 1 inch of water in the bottom of a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add the green beans and cover the pot. Steam the green beans for 3-5 minutes until bright green and tender-crisp.
  2. Drain the green beans and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process, then shake in the colander to drain completely. Spread the beans out on a kitchen towel to get rid of excess moisture. These steps can be done 1-2 hours ahead. The rest of the cooking should be done just before serving.
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high for a few minutes to get it very hot. Pour in the olive oil; it will begin to smoke slightly. Quickly add the drained green beans to the skillet and turn the heat to high. Sear the green beans for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans have color and are slightly blackened in places. Remove from heat. Sprinkle the beans with fresh lemon juice, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place the beans on a serving plate and sprinkle with crumbled cotija cheese. Serve warm.

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