I never ate a fresh green bean until I was about 24. Until that glorious day, I had only experienced the canned variety (my family was big on canned food). The age of 24 is when I first became interested in farmer's markets and fresh foods. I would buy mostly just fresh fruit, with the occasional familiar vegetable. One day, I came near closing time, and as I bought a bunch of carrots, the farmer dumped a large bunch of green beans in the bag as well. "I need to get rid of them," he said with a smile. My response was a very confused expression and a quiet "thank you," as I walked away.
Because I'd only ever had salty, mushy green beans from a can, I really didn't care for green beans. On holidays, in a casserole, covered up with a lot of other canned gunk, I thought they were alright. I had no idea what to do with these long, bright, fresh green beans I'd been gifted. They sat on a shelf in my refrigerator for a couple days, where I would periodically stare at them while reaching for something else. Finally, one day, I pulled them out, washed them, and steamed them (ends not trimmed, because I didn't realize this needed to be done), melted a bit of butter on them and gave them a try. Expecting them to be tasteless and mushy, I was amazed with their crispness and the complexity of flavor. I was shocked to find that there was a slight sweetness to them, and I love the way it felt to bite into the pod. Instantly, I was hooked.
I tried many ways of preparing these green beans, but this is my most favorite. The first Thanksgiving dinner that I hosted, and cooked entirely by myself, featured these buttery lemon-almond green beans. They were a huge hit and when I recently received some gorgeous yellow and purple "green" beans in my CSA delivery, I couldn't think of a better way to enjoy them.
LEMON ALMOND GREEN BEANS
- 1 lb fresh green beans, any color, cleaned and ends trimmed
- 1 T vegan butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1/8 cup almond slices
- Bring a 3 quart pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and let them cook for 2 minutes. Pour the green beans into a strainer and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- In a large, shallow saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sauté until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Add the green beans and toss with the butter. Let the green beans sauté with the butter for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice and the almonds and continue to sauté until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Enjoy!
All Photos taken by Chris Miller
© Kristy Turner and Keepin' It Kind, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (content and images) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kristy Turner and Keepin' It Kind with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
I love green beans! Your story of never tasting the fresh variety until you are 24 totally cracks me up! These look delish and the pre-boil and then pan fry method is one I'm gonna try next time I have fresh green beans in my co-op basket!
Yay! Thanks, Somer! Have a great weekend! xoxo
Gabby @ the veggie nook
I just love green beans! I used to sneak them as a snack while grocery shopping when I was little lol. I now realize I should have washed them but hey! At least I was choosing fresh vegetables over the candy bins 😉
Although I will admit, I secretly love the canned variety to...but shhh no telling!
Thanks! I used to sneak grapes, rather than candy. I guess we had an idea of what's good for us pretty early on! And don't worry, Gabby- all of your secrets are safe with me. 🙂
what a quick and delicious green bean recipe! i love fresh green beans, too, and will definitely have to make this recipe!
ps- props to yo for hosting thanksgiving and cooking ALL the food. that's incredible!
Thank you and thank you! I hope you like it, Caitlin! Have a great weekend! 🙂
Looks good and I have green beens too... my mom always used canned green beans it was much later that I had fresh ones.....
I love them I would for old time sake eat canned if offered!
I'm glad you like it! 🙂
Isn't it a revelation when you try vegetables in their fresh state and realize how completely misinformed you've been? I had the same experience with fresh peas & spinach. (I actually enjoyed canned green beans as a kid. They were my favorite vegetable!) Mushy, gluggy canned spinach is disgusting! No wonder I thought I hated spinach. Canned peas were flavorless mush. They're nothing at all like their fresh counterpart. The worst canned food has to be mushrooms! They're so rubbery and bland. Like you, I grew up eating a lot of canned food, which is now dumbfounding since it simply can't compare to food that is fresh and bursting with flavor!
I just bought green beans at the farmers market yesterday. I'll have to try your recipe! It looks beautiful!
Terribly misinformed! I actually never ate spinach AT ALL as a child, canned or otherwise, and my parents actually told me it didn't taste good (my parents were not big on healthy eating). Talk about being misinformed- In my 20's I tried a spinach salad and fell in love. I also agree with you about canned mushrooms- pretty gross!
If you try the recipe, I hope you like it! Have fun with you fresh green beans! 🙂
Yum! Love this compassionate spin on an old classic 🙂
Thank you, Gena! 🙂
Mmmm I loveee fresh green beans - I have Royal BUrgundy, EX Pick Green Beans & Yellow Beans all growing in the garden 🙂
I love that you steamed the whole bean - too cute, aren't farmers just the nicests people ever!
I have total garden envy right now! My garden exists only in my dreams currently. Hopefully by next summer, I will have figured out a patio gardening system! 🙂
Those crazy mistakes in the kitchen are the greatest learning experiences, aren't they?!
You should check out Richa's )iver at hobby & more)balcony garden, she has done an amazing Job!
I know! I love Richa's garden pics! I think, next year, I will get an earlier start so that I can plan more efficiently and have fresh produce through the summer. 🙂