Sunday, November 11, 2012

A better holiday recipe for green beans ....

Green Beans with Lemon-Butter Bread Crumbs and Toasted Almonds

Fortunately, this is not the classic Thanksgiving green beans that our grandmothers made. This version replaces the condensed mushroom soup with lemon juice and adds a delightfully buttery-crispy topping of panko bread crumbs.

5 tbs unsalted butter
¼ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Zest of 1 lemon (a microplane works great for this step)
1 tbs kosher or sea salt, more may be  needed after tasting
1 ½ lb fresh green beans, stem ends trimmed
1 ½ tbs fresh lemon juice
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
Salt, fresh ground pepper to taste

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbs of butter. Add the panko and toast crumbs, stirring constantly, until golden brown and crisp- about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Fill a large saucepan two thirds full of water and  bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tbs of salt. Add the beans and  cook until bright green and still very crisp, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl two-thirds full of ice water. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the beans to the ice water. Let cool in water for about 2 minutes and then drain thoroughly. Blot dry with paper towels and set aside.

In large skillet over medium heat,  melt the remaining 3 tbs butter and swirl to coat the  pan. Add the green beans and sauté, stirring constantly until the  beans are heated through, but still crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the  lemon juice and almonds, sauté for 1 minute longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with panko topping and serve immediately.

To make this dish ahead: Blanch green beans up to one day in advance. Spread the cooked beans on dry paper towel or a clean cotton towel, roll up in ‘jelly roll’ style and place in sealed plastic bag and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 2 hours before sautéing. The panko topping and toasted almonds can be prepared up to 1 day  in advance. Cover and store in separate airtight containers at room temperature.

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