I first made green beans this way last Thanksgiving when I was craving something comfortable and American tasting. My parents grew up in Kansas, which I think is why I feel that holiday food must be simple, warm, and sort of Southern. The beans were a success because they have a nice texture and are quite flavorful.
1 lb green beans, ends cut off
2 T olive oil
2 or 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 t salt
Boil some water and cook the green beans in the water for 3 minutes.
Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion is browned.
Add salt and pepper.
Add the green beans to the onion and garlic. Cook on low, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.