Traditionally, the green beans in this classic recipe are what Americans might consider overcooked (very French), and are braised for the last few minutes with lemon juice and served with slivered almonds. This renovation of the classic keeps the haricots verts crisp, and uses lemon zest for the bright citrus flavor without the acidic, wilting punch of the juice, while the almonds are ground to a crumb that coats each individual French green bean. It's a fresh and verdant but still lively and special break from the heft of Thanksgiving dinner.
About the author: Kerry Saretsky is a Serious Eats intern and the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way.
- 1 1/2 pounds of haricot verts, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter, cubed
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup of toasted almonds, pulsed in the food processor until they look like chunky almond crumbs
To toast your almonds, scatter them on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes. Let them cool before chopping the food processor.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and salt it.
Drop the haricots verts into the water for 3 to 4 minutes--just until they are no longer raw.
Meanwhile, cut the 2 tablespoons of cold butter into little chunks and place them at the bottom of a large mixing bowl.
Drain the haricots verts and immediately toss with the butter, and the zest of the lemon, plus salt and pepper to taste. The heat from the haricots verts should just melt the butter.
Place into a serving bowl, and scatter the toasted almonds crumbs over the top.