Rinse and trim the green beans. I leave them whole and just cut off the tip of the stem end. Place the beans in a microwave safe dish with a tablespoon or two of water and cover.
Place the butter (or margarine) and the garlic in a small bowl and microwave on low power until the butter is melted. Remove and stir gently. Let sit for a few minutes while the green beans are cooking.
Microwave the beans for about 2 minutes, until softened a bit but still crisp. (Microwaves vary, so start with a lesser time and cook more if needed.) Drain out the excess water, pour the butter-garlic mixture over the green beans, and serve immediately. You can add salt and freshly ground pepper if you'd like, but I usually don't.
Jamie Stolper is the Food Editor of ShalomBoston.com.