Romano beans with butter, shallots and chives A sweeter alternative to the common green bean, and made just as easily!

Romano beans with butter, shallots and chives

What are Romano beans?

If you’ve never tasted Romano beans, you’re in for a treat!

These broad, flat pods are similar to green snapping beans – you eat the entire pod and cook them the same way. But Romano beans are even sweeter and more tender than the common green bean.

These succulent beans are in season from late spring to mid-fall. Look for them at your local farmers’ market or gourmet greengrocer.

Grow your own Romano beans! A sunny patch of ground and 2 months’ time is all you need.

And if you have a sunny patch in your backyard, I encourage you to plant some. Romano beans are one of the most rewarding crops, producing vigorous plants that are loaded with the gorgeous pods within 2 months of seeding.

Here the sweetness of the delicious Romanos is accentuated by the mellowness of the shallots. The butter coats the beans with an irresistible creaminess while the chives add a bit of savoriness to the dish.

These simply prepared Romano beans make a terrific and versatile side dish – one that’ll make you come back for seconds… and possibly thirds!

Romano beans

Romano beans with butter, shallots and chives

serves 4
active time: 30 min

  1. 1 tablespoon sea salt for the blanching water
  2. 1 1/4 lbs (565 g) Romano beans or green beans – trimmed and cut on the diagonal in 2″ pieces (6 cups)
  3. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  4. 3 shallots – skinned, quartered and thinly sliced (1 cup)
  5. 1/4 cup spring water
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  7. 1 bunch fresh chives – cut in 1/2″ pieces (use kitchen scissors) (1/4 cup)
  8. 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  9. freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Step 1: Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes. Set aside. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add the salt and the beans. Blanch the beans for 4 minutes until tender but still a little crunchy (if using green beans, blanch for 3 minutes only). Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water bath until cool. Drain on clean kitchen towel. Pat dry and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cook’s note: The beans can be prepared to this point up to 4 hours ahead. Place in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Step 2: Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and shallots. Sauté for 2 minutes until the shallots have softened and begin to turn pale-golden. Add the beans and water. Toss well and sauté for 1 minute until the beans are warmed through. Add the butter, chives, salt and pepper and toss well until the butter has completely melted. Remove from heat. Transfer to a platter or large bowl and serve immediately.

Romano beans with butter, shallots and chives

side vegetable, romano bean, shallot


  1. I added a table spoon of peanut sauce – sooo good. Romano beans have a similar taste to green beans, however the texture is has more meat and the taste is superior in my opinion. Fresh garlic from the garden really made this dish awesome.

    • Viviane Bauquet Farre

      I’m delighted to hear this, Tonya. Thank you for your comment. I love the plump flesh of Romano bean!

    • Dennis Phillips

      We discovered Romano beans from a grower at our Farmers market here in N. Idaho. We find them wonderfully superior in flavor to all other green beans.

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  7. I must go shopping. Thanks for sharing

  8. I grew Romanos for the first time this summer, and I adore them. They have a supple, almost creamy texture and are less vegetal than regular bush beans, which means they can be cooked for a little less time. I’ll have to try them with chives as you’ve done. Thanks for the tip, V!

    • Meg! I’m so glad you love Romanos… My little bushes have been incredibly productive and we’ve been eating Romanos a couple of times a week – so delicious! Thank you for stopping by and for your wonderful comment!

  9. Oh man, I only recently discovered the joy of green beans and snap peas and such…I bet I would LOVE these! Fabulous side dish, darling 🙂

  10. I made romano beans in the past but winged it without much success. Am happy you posted a recipe I can bookmark Viviane. BTW been too long! 🙂

  11. I adore Romano beans! I had always thought they would be tough and chewy, but I was inspired to try them when I saw a recipe by Alice Waters. I prefer them to regular green beans and serch for them at the Farmer’s Market each summer. Your recipe is an irresistible way to enjoy these chubby green gems of summer!

  12. i’ve never had romano beans before, but i’d love to try them in this lovely dish!

  13. No, I’ve never seen these before. Thanks for the introduction Viviane! Will definitely look for them at the Farmers Market. Your recipe sounds perfect.

  14. Romano beans are a big favourite my friend, I love your style of cooking them 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  15. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Romano beans–but I like this recipe. How do you think it would be using snow peas?

    • Cucina49, You probably could use snow peas here, but their flavor profile is not at all like beans. So my first choice for a substitute would be green beans.

  16. delicious healthy side looks wonderful

  17. I don’t think I’ve ever had romano beans…these look really delicious, I will definitely have to look for them at the market!

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