2 tablespoons olive oil
3 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound string beans, washed and trimmed
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence (or 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme, marjoram, and rosemary)
Pinch kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional: Give the beans an extra kick by adding a bit of dried chile pepper, like a cayenne or an Anaheim, along with the garlic. Be sure to wear rubber gloves when handling these!
Heat the oil over medium heat in a frying pan or wok. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly golden. Add the beans, stir to coat with the oil, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until they are a little seared and tender. (Funny thing with purple beans: as they cook they lose most of their color and turn green.) About a minute or so before the beans are done, add in the herbs and stir—if you add the herbs at the beginning, the cooking will make them bitter. Serve right away.