When I was a kid, our vegetable garden was nothing fancy. A few tomato plants, a row of strawberries and a pumpkin plant or two graced the modest square of dirt in our backyard. But off to the side, winding their way up strings that my mum staked into the soil and stretched to the top of the fence, were the pride and joy of the vegetable patch. Green beans.
It was my job to pick the ripe beans from the stalks. As I pinched each bean and placed them into the big plastic bowl, I imagined the fresh side dish that would appear on our plates at dinnertime. Tender-crisp beans, adorned with nothing more than a pat of butter or a squeeze of lemon juice. They needed nothing more to let their natural flavors sing.
To this day, I rarely serve green beans with anything heavier than a simple vinaigrette. That being said, a crumble of bacon and a dose of sautéed mushrooms (oh, how I love that recipe!) never did any harm to a bowl of green beans. And at Thanksgiving, our favorite recipe is Green Beans with Balsamic Roasted Shallots.
This easy side dish is reminiscent of something that my mum would have prepared when I was a kid. Lemony, herb-filled and highlighted with the crunch of toasted almonds, this side dish is a fresh and healthy way to perk up your summertime dinners.
Green Beans with Lemon & Toasted Almonds
- 1 1/4 pounds green beans trimmed
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds toasted
- 4 basil leaves thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- Cut the green beans into 2- to 3-inch pieces.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
- Cook the green beans in the boil water until tender crisp, about 2 minutes (depending on the thickness of the beans). Drain the green beans and immediately plunge into the ice water to them from cooking further.
- Transfer the green beans to a serving bowl, and toss with the almonds, basil, chives and dressing. Serve.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, agave nectar, salt and pepper.
Disclosure: This post contains links to my Amazon affiliate page. Any revenue made from sales through these links helps to support this blog. Thank you!