This is an easy side that's perfect to pair with practically anything. I particularly love these alongside pork or flavorful fish. In fact, they're good enough that now and again I just make a big pile for dinner.
Fresh green beans are one of my favorite things to eat when they're in-season. Usually you can even get decent ones out of season. This makes canned and frozen green beans that much more clearly an abomination - they're just nothing like the real thing at all. This recipe recaptures my favorite way to eat green beans as a kid - and today, too.
My mom made green beans more or less like this pretty often. I was always sort of disappointed when our beans didn't have almonds in with them. Still tasty, but some good toasted almonds really set off the beans perfectly. Give these a try, and you may never go back.
The basic ingredients are as simple as can be. Green beans (duh), butter, almonds, and garlic. These get you good buttery beans and nicely toasted almonds. The garlic is more or less a required baseline seasoning, and you can add whatever you like on top of that.
Salt and pepper is fine, or you can take these in any number of exotic directions. Soy and ginger make a nice Asian flavor. Thyme leads to a subtler flavor. Personally, I really like lemon pepper.
First thing's first - the chore. Chop or snap the ends off of all of your beans. Somehow I considered this a treat to help out Mom with as a kid. Why? I'm not sure. If you're making enough beans to feed company, try to con somebody else into helping you take care of the ends, or it might get a little tedious.
It's possible to just sautee the beans straight through, but you can risk burning them. Instead, add the beans to a large skillet and add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of water - just enough to generate some steam as it cooks off. Put that over medium heat until the water has all cooked away.
Your beans will have turned a really bright green, as we've essentially blanched them. Now we can start sauteeing.
Add butter and garlic to the skillet. If you're bored, do so in a way that makes a creepy face. I think the beans are angry.
Now that we're sauteeing, it's time to season. Add salt and pepper to taste, as well as whatever else you find particularly tasty. This time around, I went for onion powder and plenty of lemon pepper. Actual onion is great in here, too - I was out.
Once your beans have been sauteeing for a couple of minutes, push them to the outsides of the pan to make a nice well in the center. Add a bit more butter to that well, then pour in your chopped/diced/slivered almonds. The shape doesn't matter much, it all ends up tasty. Toast these in the center for a few minutes, then mix through and keep cooking til everything is done. Your beans should be tender and your almonds toasted and crispy.
Serve immediately - though these do reheat quite nicely, if that becomes necessary.
Recipe: Easy Green Beans Almondine
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Difficulty: Easy | Servings: 8-10
Wash beans thoroughly. Trim or snap off ends.
Place green beans in a large skillet with 1/3 c. warm water over medium heat. Cook over medium until water has evaporated, approximately 5 minutes.
Add minced garlic and 2 tbsp butter, mixing well. Add seasonings and sautee 3-4 minutes.
Make a well in the center of the pan. Add additional butter if needed, then add almonds to the well. Toast 1-3 minutes, then mix well with beans.
Continue cooking 1-3 minutes until beans are tender and almonds well toasted.