Fresh spring green beans cooked tender-crisp are an easy and versatile side dish. They taste even better topped with toasted almonds and a bright lemony vinaigrette dressing. This lemony green bean almondine recipe is “easy-peezy-lemon squeezy” as my six year old son would say.
Lemony green bean almondine tastes great with any number of main courses such as pork chops, steak, seafood and more. It’s also a great vegetable dish to bring to a family pot-luck because it is delicious at room temperature. I prefer to call this a salad and ask you to open your mind up to the idea of including vegetable dishes in the salad category instead of just lettuce or leafy greens. I like to serve green bean almondine with a wonderful lemony and bright vinaigrette dressing and top it with toasted almonds.
Fresh, not canned
Fresh green beans are always the best. My favorite ways to cook green beans is to either “blanch” them or “roast” them. Are you a fan of green beans? They’re really a delicious vegetable any time of year. This recipe calls for blanching the green beans, which is an essential cooking technique to know for cooking many different kinds of fresh vegetables. Blanching vegetables is a great way to “cook ahead.” I like to blanch a variety of fresh veggies, store them in the fridge in air-tight containers and use them to spruce up ordinary salads. It’s a great way to boost your vitamins and fiber intake. If you prefer your blanched veggies warm, it’s as easy as heat up a little olive oil or butter in a pan and sauteing them for a couple minutes until they warm through. You can blanch vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, shelled peas, peas in the pod, squash and cauliflower to name a few.
How to blanch green beans
To blanch the green beans, simply bring a pot of salted water to boil. Drop in the beans and cook them tender-crisp (about 3 minutes) before plunging them into a big bowl of ice-water. Shocking the beans in ice-water stops the cooking process and keeps their beautiful bright green color. Next, remove the beans with tongs to a colander or dinner plate lined with paper towels so they can dry. They’re ready to serve, store in the fridge or freeze for later. They should be tender-crisp and not mushy.
“Haricots verts” or green beans are a great source of protein, fiber and are chock full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C, K, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, calcium, iron and more! (I feel like I’m reading off the periodic table or something). And they also taste great.
Do you like lemons? I adore the fresh zing of a bright fresh lemon. If you like lemons, I think you’ll enjoy this easy lemony green bean almondine recipe. The lemon vinaigrette is super easy to prepare and is one of my favorite quick dressings for many different types of salads. Homemade dressings always taste so much better than store bought.
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Lemony green bean almondine
Lemony green bean almondine is an easy and versatile dish. Fresh spring green beans are cooked tender-crisp and topped with a bright lemony vinaigrette dressing and toasted almonds.
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (use a good quality)
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme (minced, or 1 tsp dried thyme)
- 1 pinch sea salt (generous pinch)
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1 lb fresh green beans (ends trimmed)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3-4 tbsps sliced almonds (toasted, amount to taste)
- 1 tbsp shallots or red onion (minced, optional)
- 1 pinch sea salt (scant pinch)
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper (scant pinch) (to taste)
Preparing lemony vinaigrette
- Start by preparing the lemony vinaigrette. This allows the flavors in the vinaigrette to have time to meld together while you blanch the green beans. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper and whisk until it emulsifies. Set aside the vinaigrette in an easy pour vessel or mason jar while you prepare the green beans. Give the vinaigrette a quick stir or shake (if in a jar) just prior to serving.
Blanching the green beans
- Clean and trim the ends off the fresh green beans. Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set aside. Bring an 8 quart pot of water to a full boil. Add salt. Add the green beans and cook on high heat for 3 minutes until tender-crisp. Using tongs, remove the green beans to bowl of ice water. Once cooled, transfer the beans to a colander or paper towel lined dinner plate to drain.
Toasting the almonds
- Heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Once hot, add the sliced almonds. Toast the almonds just until they begin to smell toasted and start to turn a light golden brown. Move them around as they toast. Remove the almonds to a plate as soon as they start to turn golden brown as they can burn quickly.
Plating the salad
- Place the drained green beans neatly on a platter. Drizzle a desired amount of vinaigrette over the beans. They should be well coated, but not swimming in the vinaigrette. Next, top the green beans with the toasted almonds and sprinkle the final touches (minced shallots or red onion) all over. Add an additional scant pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper on top. Serve immediately.
- Store any remaining lemony vinaigrette in the fridge up to 2 – 3 days. Use for salads. Allow the vinaigrette to sit at room temperature prior to using and give it a stir as needed so it re-emulsifies.
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