The French know their way around food, and this recipe for green beans almondine is no exception.
Cooking the beans in garlic-infused butter, then topping them with toasted almonds transforms them from a mere vegetable into a true delicacy!
I make green beans often. I love them simply cooked - boiled green beans are wonderful. I also enjoy sauteed green beans and roasted green beans.
But there's something about green beans almondine. The combination of just-tender beans, garlic-infused butter, and toasted almonds is sublime. It's a wonderful fiesta of colors, flavors, and textures.
You'll only need six simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Kosher salt: Quite a bit for the cooking water plus more for seasoning the beans.
- Green beans: I like to use haricots verts in this recipe - those are thin French green beans.
- Sliced almonds: I buy them raw, then dry-toast them in a skillet.
- Butter: I love the Kerrygold brand.
- Garlic: It's important to use freshly minced garlic cloves in this recipe.
- Black pepper: Freshly ground tastes best.
Making green beans almondine is not difficult. The detailed instructions are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of the steps:
- Your first step is to cook the haricots verts in salted boiling water.
- Next, drain and transfer them to a bowl filled with ice water for 1-2 minutes. Drain well and set aside on a plate.
- Now, toast the almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Set aside.
- In the same skillet, cook the garlic in butter. Add the haricots verts along with salt and pepper and cook briefly, just to reheat the beans and coat them in the garlicky butter.
- Transfer the beans to a serving plate, top with the toasted almonds, and serve.
The method of boiling and then blanching in ice water produces optimal results because it helps preserve the beans' bright green color and also helps ensure that they are not overcooked.
Having said that, I do realize it's quite tedious to use a pot for boiling the beans, a colander for draining them, and a bowl for the ice water, plus the skillet needed for actually cooking them in garlic and butter. That's quite a few steps and quite a few dishes to wash!
So if you'd like, you can skip these extra steps and skip to the step of cooking the garlic in butter, then adding the raw green beans. You'll need to cook them over medium heat for around 3 minutes if they're thin, and 4-5 minutes if they're thick.
Frequently asked questions
Haricots verts are thin French green beans. Their name literally translates into "green beans." If you can't find them, it's OK to use regular green beans and cook them for a bit longer.
No, I don't recommend that. For the best flavor, texture, and visual appearance, please use fresh green beans.
That's completely up to you. I like to leave them whole because I feel it makes for a prettier presentation, and I trust the diners' ability to use their silverware to cut them into bite-size pieces.
You can certainly trim their ends, though, and you can also cut them in half or into three parts.
No, there's no need for them to be blanched, although if that's what you have on hand you can certainly use them. I use sliced almonds with their skin still on.
This method is called blanching. It ensures that the beans are not overcooked and it helps preserve their bright green color.
If I had to choose the single most important thing in this recipe, it would be to avoid overcooking the beans. You want them bright green and al-dente, not brown and mushy.
- You can use olive oil instead of butter. However, I feel that butter is better in this particular recipe.
- Try adding ¼ cup of minced shallots. Cook them in butter until golden, then add the garlic.
- Try adding a pinch of dried thyme when you add the salt and pepper.
Green beans almondine is a super versatile side dish that can truly go with anything. I often serve it with one of the following main dishes:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Reheat them covered in the microwave.
If possible, it's best to keep the toasted almonds separately - you can keep them at room temperature in a small airtight container.
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Green Beans Almondine
- 3 ½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt divided
- 1 lb. fresh haricot verts (thin French green beans)
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- Fill a large pot with cold water. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Add a tablespoon (three teaspoons) of kosher salt. Drop the haricots verts into the salted boiling water. Bring the water back to a boil (this should take about 2 minutes). Boil the green beans for 2 minutes if using haricots verts or 4 minutes if using American green beans, then drain and transfer them to a bowl filled with ice water for 1-2 minutes. Drain well and set aside on a plate.
- Heat a large 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and toast them, stirring often, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Wipe the skillet with a paper towel. Add the butter. When the butter starts to foam, add the garlic. Cook, stirring often, until golden and fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Add the haricots verts, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Toss for just a minute or so to reheat the beans, coat them in the butter, and combine them with the garlic.
- Transfer the skillet contents to a serving plate. Top with the toasted almonds and serve.
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