Since just about every body loves green beans, it’s fun to create new ways to serve them. Here is a classic recipe idea, done my way: Green Beans Almondine (or almandine). Almonds sautéed in butter add a nutty taste and satisfying crunch, jazzing up plain old green beans. Besides topping green beans, try them in salads and over other vegetables too.
Buying Green Beans
When buying green beans, I prefer the tender baby ones often labeled by their French name, haricot vert. They are smaller, thinner and have more flavor than standard American varieties. Haricot vert often come packaged with the ends snipped off, ready to go for cooking.
While haricot vert might cost a bit more (depending where you buy them), the no-prep time plus their flavor and tenderness make buying them worthwhile. You can get them at Traders Joes, Costco, and many markets. My husband won’t even eat regular green beans any more as these are so much better. If you can’t find them, any green bean will do for the recipe.
When buying, look for bright green beans with no browning spots. Figure 3 ounces per person as a good serving.
Quick Way to Cook Green Beans
To cook the beans, drop them into boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Remove immediately, drain, toss with olive oil, top with the almonds, citrus zest and serve.
You can make the beans ahead of time by cooking them placing right from the pan into a bowl of ice water to “shock” them and stop the cooking process. Drain and refrigerate for 5 days. That way they are ready to go for a busy week.
Browned Butter Almonds
For the almonds, buy an 8 ounce bag of sliced raw almonds and sauté them in 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter or ghee (clarified butter) until golden and fragrant. It takes just 5 minutes. Pour the almonds out of the hot pan onto a cold pan, a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper. Just get them out of the hot pan so they do not over brown.
Cool the almonds, then keep them in the refrigerator in a tight container. They keep for a month. These almonds have an amazing flavor. Use them to top other vegetables, toss into salads, top Greek yogurt or even add to steel cut oats for breakfast.
Green Beans Almondine
- 2 teaspoons salt for the bean water
- 12 ounces green beans try baby green beans or Haricot Vert
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
- 8 ounces sliced raw almonds
- 1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped parsley optional
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 orange, zested optional
- Fill a medium pot (about 4 quarts) three-quarters full of water and bring to a boil. Add salt. Drop in the green beans and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, toss with the olive oil and keep warm.
If pre-cooking green beans for later use, immediately drop the beans into a bowl filled with ice and water. Chill, drain, dry and place in the refrigerator well covered for up to 5 days.
While the water is heating to cook the green beans, add the butter to a medium skillet or fry pan. Melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Don’t walk away from the stove as nuts burn quickly. When done, remove from the heat and serve over the olive oil-tossed green beans with citrus zest. Season with salt and pepper. Serve 1 tablespoon per person and save the rest for other uses. Store extra almonds in the refrigerator tightly covered.
Note – You can cool the almonds and store them in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container. They will keep about a month. Use them on salads and other vegetables or to top yogurt or steel cut oats. Just about anything.