Easy and tasty 20-minute Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic and Almonds recipe. This will be a new favorite side dish recipe for everything from weeknights to holidays. If you think you don’t like green beans – think again!
Are you tired of the same old, same old veggie side dishes? Me too! I knew we had a lot in common. Green beans are in season year-round, which is great news for this green bean lover. (However, I should note that they are at their peak freshness May through October.) I’m always on the lookout for different ways to make the flavor of the beans shine. Green beans really are a delicious vegetable, as long as you cook them correctly. I know some people like to boil them to death, and, I’m sorry but that’s just committing all kinds of vegetable sins. While boiling is an option (among many other cooking methods) — they do not need to be boiled for that long. Anyway, let me get back to these green bean goodies.
When choosing green beans, I prefer to pick through the open piles of beans myself, rather than buying the pre-packaged ones. Though, there is nothing wrong with that either — just one of my little veggie quirks. I do think though that the fresh green beans that are packaged as “microwaveable” are just fine to saute up and look fresher to me in the package than some other varieties. Not sure why that is — just something I have discovered on my many, many, many, many trips to the grocery store. Oh, and also, always choose the brightest, crispiest beans, and ones that aren’t bruised or blemished.
Now that I had picked the most perfect beans, I needed to decide how to dress them up. I like a bit of crunchy with my veggies, and adding almonds to vegetable dishes usually does the trick. Almonds tend to get a richer, nuttier flavor when toasted (and that’s what they’re essentially doing there, being tossed around in the skillet with the green beans). The sesame oil only enhances the nutty flavor of the entire dish. Garlic — well, that’s a no brainer. And then the brown sugar for a hint of sweetness and caramelization? (I just had to stop for a second, close my eyes, and think back to the taste of that dish — and wipe some drool off my chin.)
WHAT SPICES GO WELL WITH GREEN BEANS?
This question is one that’s hard to answer simply, since taste is so objective, and also depends on what spices you like. If you’re not sure, I recommend trying some spice mixes. Some of my favorites include Italian, lemon pepper, Herbes de Provence, garam masala, Chinese 5 spice, and Mexican adobo.
If you’re experimenting with spices, follow the instructions below, using olive oil instead of sesame. Then, when it says to add the spices, add the ones you’ve chosen to experiment with. Follow step 2 as well, making sure the green beans are finished by piercing with a fork. Starting simply is the easiest way to figure out what you like, from there you can get fancier by adding in other ingredients — like garlic, nuts, sugars, etc. We all have to learn to crawl before we learn to walk, right?
HOW DO YOU TRIM GREEN BEANS?
There are two schools of thought on this one. The first is to just cut the ends off with a knife. Line a few beans up and cut the ends all at once to make the process go a little faster. Or, you can cut the ends with kitchen shears. The second way is to “snap” the ends off with your fingers. Personally, I go with the second method because why dirty another knife when you don’t have to?
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF GREEN BEANS?
Green beans are not only good to eat, they’re also good for you. Full of fiber, folate, potassium, protein, zinc, and iron, they can also improve your heart health and prevent diabetes and cancer with the antioxidants that they contain. The vitamin C they contain also boosts your immune system and helps prevent infection. They are also low-calorie (only 30 calories per one cup serving!), so you can fill up on them and not wreck your diet if you are watching what you eat.
Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic and Almonds
- 1 pound fresh green beans ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil sub additional 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/3 cup shaved, sliced, or slivered almonds
- Make sure the beans are patted dry, then add to a large skillet along with oil. Saute over medium heat 1-2 minutes. Add garlic, salt, pepper, brown sugar, and almonds.
- Saute 10 minutes or until green beans are easily pierced with fork. Allow to cool slightly before serving.