Green beans have long been a favorite at my house, and in my family green beans almandine was always a hit. Combine this concept with some pesto and you have yourself a delicious side dish that’s easier to make than you might think. And, you don’t need to make an extra stop to try and source those rare and expensive pine nuts that traditional pesto recipes require.
This pesto is quite simple to make. Chuck some fresh basil leaves, some toasted almonds, grated parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and olive oil in a blender of food processor and whiz that around until it’s fairly uniform in color and consistency.
It does take a lot of basil to make pesto. If you can find the big containers like those at Trader Joe’s then it is pretty economical. You have been warned that, while 3 ounces doesn’t sound like much, it’s a lot of basil leaves.
Then make your green beans as you normally would. While I do think that fresh green beans work the best for this (and most recipes that call for them), I can personally attest that this recipe is also a great way to spice up frozen green beans. Canned green beans, however, are not invited to this party. They simply simply don’t hold up to sauces like pesto.
Once your beans are cooked you’ll need to dress them with some butter, salt, and pepper as you normally would. I go easy on the salt for the final presentation since the pesto already has salt in it as well as some salt from the parmesan cheese.
Then toss some pesto on the beans and mix it around a little bit. What you end up with is a bright, fresh, and very attractive side dish that will whet appetites left and right.
For a very delicious, fresh, and flavorful side dish these pesto green beans are some of the best you’ll ever make- hands down.
Pesto Green Beans
20m prep time
5m cook time
- 1 1/2 cups (3 oz) packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup toasted almonds
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb fresh or frozen green beans (washed and trimmed if using fresh)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper to taste (for beans)
- In a food processor combine basil, almonds, Parmesan, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Pulse until pesto sauce forms, scraping down the sides and stirring part way through. Pesto should be uniform consistency with occasional small chunks of nuts and cheese. Set aside.
- Fill a medium pot halfway with water and add salt. Bring water to boil and drop green beans into water. Cook for 5 minutes or until firm-tender.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove green beans and place on platter or serving dish. Top with pesto and butter. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss with tongs to combine. Serve while hot.
Recipe adapted from The Modern Proper.