Move over green bean casserole. Move wayyyy over. There’s a new green bean side dish on the block and it’s called Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Lemon. This is the green bean side dish that will take center stage at Thanksgiving.
We all know that classic traditional Thanksgiving side dish of the green bean casserole. Usually made with a cream of mushroom soup and topped with crispy fried onions, it’s been sitting on many a Thanksgiving table in the past and I’m sure will continue to grace tables in the future. But I’ve never been a fan of the green bean casserole. Crispy fried onions I can get on board with, but the casserole itself? Nope, not for me. If you’re like me and not a fan of green bean casserole or you’re looking for a light and vibrant green bean side dish for this Holiday season you are in the right place.
This recipe is an adaptation to a recipe my mom would make for Thanksgiving. I really want to lighten up the flavors with the addition of the lemon zest and lemon juice, and it definitely does the trick. Most Thanksgiving menu items are a bit heavy. The whole day of eating gets to be a bit…heavy. There’s turkey, gravies, stuffings, potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallow toppings…the list goes on. This Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Lemon is such a great idea to make because it’s light, fresh, vibrantly green, and the flavors compliment just about anything. I’m telling you, this is the green bean side dish everyone will be talking about. This is the dish everyone will be asking for the recipe.
Side Dish for What
The great thing about this side dish, is it really compliments just about anything. The flavors are still light and bright enough where it doesn’t compete with the main dish. Toasted almonds and lemon blend quite nice with fish, pasta, chicken, and yes…a Thanksgiving turkey. It also adds a light break to an otherwise heavy dinner like cream sauce pastas or heavy carbs. And, since it whips together in about 30 minutes, it’s something that’s easy to make as a dinner side.
How to cook the green beans
These green beans are blanched. As noted below in the recipe card blanching is the cooking method of cooking the vegetable in the boiling water for a few minutes, straining them, then dropping them into a bowl of icy water. Take a large bowl, fill it with as many ice cubes as you can and have it set on the counter ready for the green beans. The green beans will sit in the icy water for a few minutes after cooking. This method helps keep them crispy and incredibly bright vibrant green. Blanching might sound complicated, but it’s anything but! Just boil, then ice bath. Done!
When you make these, make sure you are using fresh green beans, not canned. You want that crispness that you’ll only get from a fresh green bean, not a soggy one from a can. I think the 3/4 cup of slivered almonds is just enough, but if you think you’d like more you can more. The best bite is full of toasted almonds and lots of the buttery lemon zest. So good. I hope these become a part of your family’s yearly Thanksgiving tradition!
If you like these you might also like:
Green Goddess Cucumber Wraps
Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Lemon
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
1.5lbs of fresh green beans
1 bowl of ice water
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1 shallot, minced
2 and 1/2 tablespoons butter
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350. Spread the slivered almonds on a foil lined baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes.
2. Trim the ends off the fresh green beans and bring a pot of salted water to boil. You can also buy green beans already trimmed to save time. Boil the green beans for 3 minutes, strain, then immediately dump into the ice water bowl. Leave in the ice water for 5 minutes, then strain into an empty bowl.
3. Melt the butter in a large pot, add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. Dump in the zest of the whole lemon, the lemon juice, toasted almonds and the green beans. Stir so everything is well blended. Turn heat to low and simmer covered for 10-15 minutes.
Blanching a vegetable is the process of cooking the vegetable in the boiling water, then straining it and placing them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. The cooking method helps keep the green beans crisp and a vibrant bright green.