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GREEN BEANS ALMONDINE


Every holiday I pack the buffet table with turkey (of course) and some of the seasons most flavorful vegetable side dishes. Everything from bourbon glazed candied yams, gorgonzola mashed potatoes, 5 spiced heirloom carrots, pot liquor stewed leafy greens, green beans and cauliflower gratin to name a few...


A favorite and popular holiday side dish of mine is the classic French recipe, "Green Beans Almondine." Sauteed with shallots, garlic and a touch of butter, makes it an elegant and delicious side to bring to the holiday table. And they have just the right snap of crispness from blanching and then sauteeing. What's charming about this recipe is that it's so simple and yet so versatile you can use it time and time again.


RECIPE:


2 Lb. French green beans (haricot verts), trimmed

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup raw sliced almonds

3 medium shallots, finely diced

2 medium garlic cloves, finely minced

1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste



METHOD:


Using a large pot bring salted water to a vigorous boil. Salting the water retains the green beans bright green color. Gently add the green beans to the boiling water and blanch them for 3-4 minutes or until they have become crisp and tender. Do not fully cook them, you want them to be undercooked so they can further cook in the skillet. Remove the green beans and place them in a “ice bath.” A “ice bath” is a large glass bowl filled with ice and cold water. By adding the green beans to the “ice bath” it stops the cooking and retains the color.


Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium-low heat add the butter and olive oil. Add the almonds and sauté stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes until they start to turn slightly golden brown. Reduce the heat and add the shallots and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.


Using a colander transfer the green beans to the colander to drain and using tongs gently add the green beans to the skillet. Sauté and toss lightly coating the green beans with the almonds, garlic, butter and shallots under green beans are tender about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.




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