Fresh green beans almondine is a classic side dish you can enjoy all year round.
The recipe flawlessly combines blanched green beans and lightly sauteed almonds.
It brings the ideal balance of flavor, nutrition, and eye-catching appeal to your meal.
Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin A and fiber.
They also boast an array of other essential nutrients like calcium, zinc, iron, etc.
And when combined with crunchy sautéed almonds and garlic? There’s nothing better!
Now, let’s learn how to make perfect green beans almondine.
Green Beans Almondine
Though it shows up in kitchens all over America, green beans almondine came from France.
And like most French food, it’s ah-mazing.
There are plenty of online recipes for making it.
Some use shallots, lemon juice, lemon zest, caramelized onions, and more. I prefer to keep things simple.
This recipe for green beans almondine uses just four main ingredients. The steps for making it are simple, too.
You can use the microwave to blanch the beans. After that, you should be able to finish the dish in just 15 minutes or so.
As long as you love garlic and beans, you’ll appreciate this recipe.
As I’ve already mentioned, the ingredients for this recipe are minimal and simple. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Green beans. The beans are the star of the show in this recipe. You need approximately two pounds of them. Since you blanch them in the microwave, fresh beans are the only way to go. No frozen or canned ones, please.
- Almonds. You want the almonds slivered, and you need about 1.5 ounces. I typically grab the Great Value brand at Walmart because they’re less expensive. Any brand will work, though. It’s the nutty, crunchy contrast you’re after here. They pair perfectly with the beans.
- Butter. After roasting the almonds, you use the butter to sauté the green beans and garlic. It also adds a rich depth of flavor to the whole dish.
- Garlic. Some people go for a lemon juice/lemon zest flavor. I prefer the earthy, aromatic addition of garlic. It smells and tastes fantastic, and you can add as much as you like. I tend to go heavier than the recipe’s required two cloves.
- Water. Add water before cooking the beans in the microwave. If you don’t, they won’t blanch properly.
- Salt and pepper. Add a small amount or a generous amount of salt and pepper. The amount is entirely up to you. I prefer lots of garlic and only a dash of these. You can go heavier if you like.
Some people like to add shallots alongside the garlic.
If you want shallots, add them at the same time as the garlic. I typically leave them out.
How to Make Green Beans Almondine
The recipe below includes seven steps, but it breaks everything down separately.
In reality, there are really only three significant steps to remember.
1. Start by blanching the beans. The green beans are the most significant part of this recipe. If you mess those up, the whole thing will be ruined. Luckily, they’re nearly impossible to mess up.
If you prefer to blanch beans on the stove, you can. However, it’s just as easy to do it in the microwave. Pour the beans into a microwave-safe casserole dish. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the container.
Then, cook them on high for 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately drain them after removing them from the microwave. After that, cool them off in cold running water. Doing so will help them keep their bright color.
2. Toast the almonds. You won’t need any butter for this step. Instead, toss them in an ungreased skillet. Let them cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
This step is tricky because they can quickly go from toasting to burning.
Watch them carefully, and remove them from the heat when they start to turn gold.
Toasting them without butter allows them to retain their crisp nuttiness.
3. Add butter and sauté and season the beans and garlic. Some recipes say to remove the almonds at this step. You can, or you can leave them in. I typically leave them, but they may stay crispier if you don’t.
Add enough salt and pepper to suit your tastes.
Continue to stir the mixture for 5 to 7 minutes until everything is thoroughly heated. Then, remove them from the heat and serve them!
That’s it! That’s all you’ll have to do.
Tips for the Best Green Beans Almondine
This recipe isn’t difficult to make. Even so, here are my tips for ensuring it’s as close to perfect as possible:
- Keep it fresh! I said this once already, but use fresh beans! This recipe just won’t come together as nicely with frozen ones.
- Haricot beans are best. Any fresh green beans will work. However, haricots are so tender and perfectly sized for this particular recipe.
- Buy pre-trimmed beans. There’s nothing wrong with trimming them yourself. But buying pre-trimmed beans will save you some time, and I’m all about that.
- Salt the water if you cook the beans on the stove. I stand by using the microwave for cooking the beans. It’s quick, easy, and effective. However, if you use the stove, be sure to salt the cooking water.
- Don’t overcook the beans. They should just barely be tender when you remove them from the stove or microwave.
- Butter > oil. Some recipes for this dish say to sauté it in oil. Butter gives it a much better flavor, though.
- Don’t wait to serve it. If you know you’ll be pressed for time, you can blanch the beans a day early. However, don’t wait to serve the finished dish. You’ll want to enjoy it immediately after the cooking process is completed. If you don’t, the almonds may become soft and soggy.
Now, let’s look at a few variations you might want to try.
As written, this recipe is incredible. However, if you want to experiment, here are some variations you can try.
- Brighten the flavor with lemon juice (2 teaspoons) and lemon zest (a teaspoon or less).
- Toast the almonds with Panko breadcrumbs or crispy fried onions.
- Sauté the beans in bacon grease instead of butter.
- Add shallots, leeks, mushrooms, or onions to the recipe for an even more earthy flavor.
- Add 1/3 cup of crumbled, fully cooked bacon immediately before serving.
- Top the dish with parsley, parmesan, or fried onions before serving.
- Add a small dash of cayenne for a kick of heat.
- Use onion powder as an additional seasoning.
Allow your main course to guide you on flavor variations.
For example, the flavor you want when serving it with chicken may differ from what you’d want when serving it with fish.
You may also have to adjust the ingredients to suit different dietary needs.
If you’re cooking for a vegan, you need to substitute oil or vegan butter.
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