Fo-Show Green Beans
In the holiday spirit of let’s make the best of it, I strive to identify redeeming characteristics in those I would otherwise write off as “unfortunate.” It’s with that spirit that I execute my annual attempt to make amends with the legume. In fairness, green beans are so visually pleasing on a plate that their lack of flavor (save for a hint of rubbery bitterness) is almost excusable. On the other hand, Yorkshire pudding manages to both look and taste fabulous, and that’s after going to considerably more trouble, so the haricots verts can play their tiny violins in someone else’s kitchen. Moving along, here’s how I make something out of not much of anything.
1 lb green beans, rinsed, tips snapped
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C slivered almonds
1/4 tsp pepper
Set your oven to 350. Spread out the almonds on a cookie sheet and toast them for 5 minutes. Fill a medium or large saucepan with 2 inches of water and add the beans. Bring it to a boil over medium-high and cook for 7 minutes to preserve the snap. In the meantime, heat the butter in a small pan over medium heat. After it stops foaming, add the garlic and almonds, and cook for 1 minute, then remove from the burner. When the beans are done, drain them and return them to the pot. Add the garlic/almond/butter and the pepper and combine well. Hopefully, you’ve pulled the rest of the meal together; there’s nothing so specifically reprehensible as cold cooked vegetables.