How Green Are Your Beans?

While I love buying fresh veggies at the farmers market each week, I don't love forgetting about them in the refrigerator. Oops...

As you can imagine, after eating one (or perhaps two) too many ribs along with my amazingly fabulous blue cheese cole slaw (yes, the recipe is coming soon, I promise), oh and a fabulous flourless orange cake for the Labor Day celebration, I haven't been all that interested in food these past few days (which is one of the reasons why this is my first post this week). Hmmmm. So when I opened the veggie drawer in the fridge today, I was sad to find that what were gorgeous green beans on Sunday looking a little less than stellar on Thursday.

Some of the beans were not so green and beautiful.

Now can you guess what's for lunch today? Green beans!

Well, not just any green beans. And certainly not overcooked green beans. And there will be no bacon in my green beans either. I am making sauteed green beans with toasted walnuts, lemon and Parmesan. It's a contemporary twist to green beans almondine. And they are divine.

The toasted walnuts give this ubiquitous side dish great texture, a nice earthy flavor as well as a touch of protein. The lemon zest and lemon juice brightens everything up while the Parmesan provides a salty and creamy mouthfeel. It's a great combination.

Serve this dish with a piece of grilled meat or just with some brown rice for a perfect vegetarian meal.

Buen provecho!

Sauteed Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts, Lemon and Parmesan
The Cowgirl Gourmet (

Print recipe

You could replace the toasted walnuts with toasted almond slivers or slices. Just don't overcook the green beans. I like an al dente green bean that is bright green in color. When serving, add plenty of fresh Parm on top for extra flavor and not a lot of extra fat.

Serves 2-4

1- 1 1/2 lbs. green beans, with the ends snapped off
1 1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
2 Tablespoons grated or shaved Parmesan cheese

In a toaster oven, regular oven or in a skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts until golden brown and fragrant, about 5-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large pot or skillet, add water (enough to cover the beans) and some salt and put on the stove to boil. When water is boiling, drop in green beans, stir and blanch for 1-2 minutes.

While the green beans are cooking, heat 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat.

When the green beans are blanched, remove them from the heat, drain in a colander, shake off any excess water and place immediately in the heated skillet. Stir to coat with the olive oil and allow to saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until al dente or crispy tender.

Now that the toasted walnuts are cooled, chop or break them up and add to the green beans. Zest 1/2 lemon and add zest to green beans. Squeeze the juice of the 1/2 lemon in the pan and stir to coat.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt and stir thoroughly. Grate the Parmesan on top of the green beans and stir to coat. Taste the beans and add more salt, lemon juice or Parm, if desired.

When serving, add a few more drops of lemon juice to each plate, a sprinkle of Maldon salt (if you have it, otherwise, Kosher is fine), another grate of Parm and some freshly grated black pepper.

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