Growing up, my perception of green beans was grim: they came from a can looking a sickly dark green and flopped when you touched them. Don’t even get me started on the smell. And in casseroles, they were even worse.
I didn’t fall in love with green beans until my early 20s, during a meal at Trattoria L’Incontro in Astoria, Queens. The greens were rich and nutty and snapped when I bit into them. They took on the delicate flavor of the butter and and balsamic glaze they were cooked in, but also brought their own distinct profile. I was hooked.
This recipe goes with any protein – chicken, fish, beef, you name it. It’s bright and crunchy and a favorite in our household. Best of all, it can be ready from start-to-finish in under 15 minutes!
1 LB fresh green beans
1 TB olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 TSP balsamic vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chop the ends off the green beans and set aside. In your skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. (Test the oil by placing a tiny piece of garlic in the pan – if it sizzles, you’re ready to add other ingredients!)
Throw in the green beans and allow them to saute for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and wait another 2 minutes before adding the almonds. Splash in the balsamic vinegar and stir everything together. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the skillet and let everything steam for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and blend in the Parmesan cheese. Season to your liking!