The first time I tried green bean casserole, I flinched. It had basically no flavor except for salt. The only thing that was tasty about it was the fried onions on top. I could never understand why it was such a favorite on holiday tables.
Making Green Beans Better
The first time I made this, I wanted something that wasn’t too rich because it was going to be served at my friend Jeanne Hughes’ table with her famous Caramel Sweet Potatoes. It had to be fresh-tasting and bold. At the time, my friends and I were exploring French cuisine, so I made these with French cut green beans. Now, I make them with Italian cut green beans (Secret: I really thought Italian green beans were a completely different plant at one time). Frozen green beans are just fine, fresh green beans are even better. Don’t try to use canned green beans because they are too soft and too salty.
Make it Vegan
If you don’t want to use butter, these green beans turn out just fine with olive oil instead. The important thing to remember when making these is to watch the garlic carefully. If it starts getting too brown before the almonds have toasted, then fish the garlic out so you won’t have any bitterness. I prefer sliced almonds, but blanched work just as well.
Don’t Wait for a Holiday to Make Green Beans with Toasted Garlic Almonds
Don’t wait for Thanksgiving or Christmas to make this. This is really easy to make, especially if you do the almonds beforehand. The only problem with that is you may be tempted to snack on those toasted almonds and none of them make it to the dish! I often buy a big bag so I can snack, too.
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- 2 cloves Garlic, sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup Almonds, sliced
- 1 package Italian style Green beans. frozen
- Gather all your ingredients.
- Melt half the butter in a saute pan on low heat. Add the garlic and let the garlic cook for a few moments, until it is translucent, on low heat.
- Add the almonds and coat them thoroughly. Let them brown slightly, but watch the garlic carefully that it does not burn. You may have to remove the garlic before the almonds are toasted properly.
- Set aside, preferably til the next day.
- Put the remaining butter in a pan and add the frozen green beans. Cook on medium/low heat, stirring constantly until the green beans are hot.
- Toss in the reserved almonds. Add more butter if necessary. Season to taste.