I feel a bit bad that I've been holding out on you guys by not sharing this sooner. These beans are perfect for a Thanksgiving side. That's why I'm sharing them now. But really we enjoy them all summer long when fresh beans are in abundance, but they are just as good with frozen beans too, so really they should be enjoyed all year long!
I first tried these beans several years ago when staying at my Uncle DJ & Aunt Lisa's. I almost feel weird calling them my uncle and aunt, because they are only a few years older than me, and more like my peers. :) When I tried these beans, I was instantly converted to having this kind of bean from then on. No more canned string beans for me! These are so easy to fix and come together in a flash, that they are practically as easy as canned beans.
Aunt Lisa (she's gonna love that), didn't really give me a recipe, but told me how she does this. So I've made them several times, more times than I can count. I wrote down what I did after following her instructions so I can share this goodness with the world. Aunt Lisa says that they are also super good with bacon added in. Um, hello! I think that would be fabulous! And also some caramelized mushrooms! She says she usually adds the bacon and/or mushrooms for special occasions, like say, Thanksgiving or a Christmas dinner. If you want to keep it simpler for a regular week night you can forgo the bacon and mushrooms and just do the beans and almonds, whatever floats your boat! Super yum!
I have to say this is probably on my top 5 favorite vegetable dishes of all time. I'm probably holding out on your more since I haven't shared all of those, but one of my other favorites is this Zucchini Sauté. I'll try to get on that, and share some more. In the meantime, enjoy these gourmet green beans!
Gourmet Green Beans
I don’t give any specific amounts here - I never measure anything when I make these. I just lightly sprinkle the seasonings below until I think it looks like enough. And you can do as many or as little almonds as you like (I usually make enough for 4 servings of beans and use about ¼-⅓ cup of almonds). Also you can use any kind of almond you have. I usually always have whole ones, and you can chop those up. Or buy slivered or sliced almonds. Use what you’ve got.
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh or frozen green beans, ends snipped off the fresh ones and washed
Kosher or regular salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste (or fresh minced garlic)
Almonds (chopped, sliced or slivered - I’ve used them all 3 ways and they are all good)
Bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
Caramelized mushrooms, (optional) - to caramelize just saute in a pan with some olive oil til cooked, soft and some brown spots
In a 12-inch skillet heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add beans and sprinkle with the seasonings (as much as desired). Cook beans stirring frequently until they are hot and until the sides are browned a little; you want them mostly cooked, but still with a nice little crunch in the middle. Add the almonds the last 2-3 minutes. If you use fresh minced garlic add it at the end with the almonds and cook it in one little section of the pan for about 30 second and mix it up in the rest of the mixture.
Serve hot, and enjoy!
Inspired by the beans my aunt Lisa makes! She didn’t give me a recipe, so I’m not sure if this is exactly how she does it, but it is more or less. :)