Green beans rise to new heights with toasted pine nuts, brown butter and a splash of fresh lemon juice to bring the flavors together. Substitute almonds for another classic combination. Either way, these green beans are a great side dish that goes well with almost anything. If you use frozen beans, defrost them with hot water before cooking. I keep a three-pound bag of frozen green beans in my freezer, so that I can make this on the spur of the moment.
Green Beans with Pine Nuts and Brown Butter
Serves 4 – 6, adapted from “Make-Ahead Holidays”
1 pound (450 grams) whole green beans (fresh or frozen)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (120 ml) pine nuts or sliced, blanched almonds
3/4 teaspoon (6.6 ml) salt
2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh lemon juice
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, thaw the green beans in hot water if they are frozen. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the beans and set aside.
Return the pan to the stove and melt the butter in it. Add the salt and the pine nuts or almonds and turn the heat to medium, stirring constantly until the nuts are golden and the butter is brown. Don’t let it burn. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice, stirring until the sizzling stops. Add the green beans and toss until evenly coated. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.