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Our recipe for Green Beans Almondine would be the perfect addition to any special holiday meal!
This simple and flavorful recipe is one that my husband Jack served during his food service management days. At the time, Jack was asked to provide an elegant dinner for a visiting dignitary. The specific instructions he was given were to ‘think outside the box’ and develop ‘a menu that will be memorable.’
Jack – always loving a culinary challenge – submitted several options from which his client could choose, and they finally settled on the menu. Green Beans Almondine was one of the items on the selected menu, and after some trial and error, Jack’s client approved this version that we’re sharing here today! (Jack said that he and his team actually made a few trial dinners for his client beforehand to make sure he was totally on board with each recipe.)
The beans in this recipe are first blanched in vermouth (Jack gives credit to his chef at the time for that idea!), and then the vermouth is reduced with shallots, butter and lemon juice – creating a pan sauce that is rich and flavorful! The blanched beans are then tossed in the vermouth sauce reduction – then topped with toasted almonds.
The dinner with the visiting dignitary was a success, and Jack’s client loved the recipe so much that he commented that he needed to make sure his wife got the recipe too so she could make it at home!
- 1½ pounds fresh green beans (best if hand-picked instead of using pre-packaged)
- 1½ cups dry vermouth
- ¼ cup sliced almonds (not slivered)
- 2 tablespoons cold butter, divided
- ¼ cup shallots, diced small
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Few grinds black pepper
- Trim the stems from each bean.
- In a medium to large pot with a tight fitting lid, place a steamer basket (see here) and vermouth and bring to a boil covered.
- Add trimmed beans and steam over a medium boil for five minutes. (If you like them a little softer cook for an additional few minutes but the longer they cook, the lighter green they become). Lift steamer basket with beans to a plate to cool and drain. Pour the remaining liquid into a container to hold.
- In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, dry toast sliced almonds until slightly golden brown. Pour out of pan to a plate to cool in a single layer. Set aside.
- In the large pot used to steam the beans, add one teaspoon of butter over medium high and add shallots. Cook for about three minutes until translucent but not browned.
- Add reserved vermouth liquid, lemon juice, salt and pepper and reduce to about three tablespoons.
- Remove from heat and stir in cold butter until a nice sauce forms.
- Add beans and heat and toss to bring the beans back up to serving temperature and then pour into a serving platter. Add more salt and pepper only if needed.
- Top with toasted almonds and serve.
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