Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables and they are one of those veggies that just about everyone loves. They are also reasonably priced, good for you and can be prepared in a variety of ways. One of my favorite ways is the focus of this post. They also happen to be my husband’s favorite, so I make them on a regular basis. I do not like canned green beans, never have, never will, so I don’t use canned great beans. Never, ever. I do like using thawed frozen great beans. In my opinion, they are almost as good as fresh and I don’t have to wash them, trim them or blanch them. I like shortcuts that don’t compromise on taste or quality.
I begin by sautéing 2 large or 3 small cloves of minced garlic in a skillet with about 1.5 tablespoons of good olive oil. I cook the garlic just until it’s a light, golden color and then toss in the green beans, some salt and pepper and the juice of 1 lemon. If the lemon is being stubborn and doesn’t want to give off much juice, roll it around on the countertop while pressing down and that will help get the juices flowing. I always use fresh lemon juice, rather than pre-squeezed bottled juice. Just be careful to keep the pits out!
Once the beans are heated through, add some toasted almonds. I buy raw, slivered almonds and just toast them in a dry pan until they start to turn a light golden color. Be sure to remove the pan from the heat immediately, otherwise they will get too dark. You will be able to smell them when they are toasted.
Next, add some grated cheese. I like this 3 cheese blend, with a combination of parmesan, asiago and Romano cheeses. I use this blend quite often. I always have some in my refrigerator. It’s great in eggs, on wraps, on veggies, on pasta, on salad, on a grilled cheese sandwich, on chicken, pretty much everywhere. It’s really a challenge to think of something this would not be good on and I’m not up for that challenge tonight, so we’ll just say it’s good everywhere.
Continue cooking the beans until the cheese is just melted and serve. These are way better than the traditional green bean casserole for Thanksgiving and are also great for entertaining. You can whip them together in no time, but they taste like you spent a lot of time preparing them. Your guests don’t have to know how quickly you threw them together and your secret is safe with me!
Green Beans w/ Fresh Lemon Juice, Fresh Garlic, Toasted Almonds and 3 Cheese Blend
1 bag of frozen green beans (I like to use the French), thawed
Salt & pepper to taste
2 large or 3 small cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tbl olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 package of slivered raw almonds (find on the baking aisle)
1/3 cup 3 cheese blend
Add the almonds to a small, dry skillet and toast on medium heat until lightly toasted. Remove from the heat immediately.
Meanwhile, heat up the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat and add the garlic and sauté until the garlic just turns golden in color. Add the green beans and salt & pepper and lemon juice and cook until the beans are heated through. Add the almonds and cheese and continue cooking until the cheese is melted and serve.