THE BEST GREEN BEAN SIDE DISH YOU’LL EVER TASTE
In 15 minutes, you’ll transform fresh green beans into a side dish that becomes a family favorite. And why not? It’s covered in pecan pieces sautéed in butter, and topped with a sprinkle of lemon zest. While each ingredient adds its own fabulous flavor profile, the browned butter blends them into a finger-licking vegetable and vegan recipe you’ll crave again and again.
SOME NUTRITION FACTS ABOUT GREEN BEANS
Let’s talk green beans/snap beans/string beans. Same vegetable, different names. Native to North, South, and Central America, they’re now cultivated worldwide and available fresh year-round. Nutritionally, they pack a wallop. They’re an excellent source of vitamin K, a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, dietary fiber, folate and vitamin B2, and a good source of B1, B6, vitamin E, vitamin A, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and more. They also provide a heap of phytonutrients, including carotenoids and flavonoids, which function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
HOW TO SELECT THE BEST GREEN BEANS
Selecting fresh green beans isn’t rocket science. You can buy them at the grocery store or farmer’s market, and for me, l like to pick them individually from the bin. Prepackaged green beans are OK, but check the best buy date for freshness. Look for a vibrant green color and smooth skin, free from brown spots. I snap one or two to make sure their texture is nice and firm. Always store unwashed fresh beans in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Fresh Green Beans – Rinsed with ends trimmed
Butter – Unsalted or Salted
Chopped Fresh Pecans – Adds a little crispy crunch, and a sweet nutty and buttery flavor
Grated Lemon Peel – Adds a bright citrus flavor with little bitterness
Salt and Black Pepper – To taste.
Rinse: Green beans in cold water and cut or snap off the ends. If I can’t find green beans that pass my freshness test, I buy bagged French green beans and leave the ends intact as the stems are cut back and not woody.
Boil and drain: In a large pot, boil for 6-8 minutes until they’re crispy-tender. Drain.
Melt: butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in chopped pecans (or pine nuts) and simmer until butter is golden-brown.
Pour and Toss: Pour butter pecan mixture over beans and toss.
Top: with grated lemon peels, but if you prefer, try orange peels. We serve these green beans for Thanksgiving last year, and thanks to the rave reviews, it’s become a side dish staple.
WHAT PROTEIN PAIRS WELL WITH GREEN BEANS?
The answer is…just about everything. We serve this side dish with ham, chicken, turkey, pork, beef.
HOW TO STORE BROWN BUTTER GREEN BEANS
Place any leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat on stovetop or in microwave.
Brown Butter Green Beans Recipe
- 3/4 pound fresh green beans
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh pecans
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse beans and cut or snap ends. Place into 2-quart saucepan, adding just enough water to cover the beans. Heat to boiling. Boil uncovered for 6 to 8 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain.
- In small saucepan melt butter over low heat. Stir in chopped pecans and increase heat to medium. Continue stirring until butter is golden brown. This will only take a minute or two.
- Remove from heat and pour butter mixture over beans. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with lemon peel before serving.