Spring Greens: Beans With Lemon Ginger Butter Recipe

Think Vegetables
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 6 mins
Total: 11 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
133 Calories
11g Fat
10g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 133
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 400mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 32mg 158%
Calcium 93mg 7%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 333mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

One of the first vegetables to cheer up the late winter and herald the arrival is Spring, are (there is a clue in the name) Spring Greens.  In Britain and Ireland, Spring Greens are, in fact, young cabbage plants and are incredibly tender and missing the hard, central core of cabbage which has grown to maturity.  

In this super-easy side dish recipe, the greens meet beans which bring a slight crunch of texture to the dish. The two are lightly steamed and then bathed in a ginger and lemon butter. The combination is sensational and makes a dish which works so well alongside fish, chicken and is so good; it can be eaten as a light warm salad with a little rocket (arugula) and spinach stirred through and a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts for extra crunch. 


  • 3 1/2 tablespoons (50 grams) salted butter

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 9 ounces (250 grams) spring greens

  • 8 ounces (225 grams) green beans

  • Flaky sea salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once melted pour the butter into a glass, heatproof jug and leave to stand for 5 minutes for the milk solids in the butter to separate. Pour off the golden, clear, butter and discard the solids. 

  3. Pour the butter back into the pan, add the grated ginger, stir over a low heat, then add lemon juice a few drops at a time until you reach the desired taste - this is personal depending on how much you like lemon. Once you reach your desired taste, sprinkle lightly with sea salt and keep to one side. 

  4. Roll the Spring greens into a tight bunch and shred with a sharp vegetable knife. Top and tail the green beans and rinse under cold water. 

  5. Steam the beans over boiling water for 5 minutes until slightly cooked, then add the greens and steam for 3 minutes to gently wilted but not cooked through. 

  6. Tip the beans and greens into a warm serving bowl and pour over the dressing. Toss the two together and finish with a few grinds of black pepper. 

  7. Serve immediately.


  • This dish does not improve for keeping so make it last minute to get the maximum texture and flavors from the vegetables.

Recipe Variations

  • If you want to tweak the recipe, try the spring greens stir-fried in a little sesame oil. Again do this lightly, the beans should still be slightly crunchy and the greens only wilted not cooked through. 
  • Omit the ginger and serve with simple lemon butter. 
  • Sprinkle a little finely chopped red chilli into the dish before serving to give the dish a little bit of a kick.