Do I need to Trim the Green Beans?This is basically up to you. I often don’t bother with topping and tailing each bean, particularly if the beans are still fresh and tender. You’re cooking these quite intensively, so keep that in mind. That said, trimming any stems, or tough spots is recommended.
Some VariationsThere are a number of alternate directions you can take this! For a spicy version, you can finish the green beans with a drizzle of chile oil, or toasted sesame chile oil. If you love herbs shower the green beans with chopped basil, mint, chives, and/or marjoram after you’ve finished cooking. Or, make a meal of it. I enjoyed these over a bowl of pasta noodles with extra walnut sauce. So good! The blistered green beans and walnut sauce are also A+ over simple brown rice.
More Green Bean RecipesIf you’re looking for other ways to cook green beans there are some really special ones in the archives. The simplest: Vibrant Tasty Green Beans Wildcard favorite green bean recipe: Anna Getty’s Feisty Green Beans This green chile-spiked Yellow Bean Salad This nut-studded, slaw-like Green Bean Slaw You can see the blistered green beans here over pasta tossed with the walnut sauce. Enjoy!
Blistered Green Beans with Walnut Sauce
The main thing here is to avoid over-toasting your walnuts. It can make the sauce bitter. This recipe makes quite a bit of sauce. Use the leftover with pasta, or boosted with a bit of extra lemon juice for a salad dressing. It will keep refrigerated for up to a week.
- 2 cups toasted walnuts
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 1/2 cups hot water
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces / 3/4 pounds green string beans
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Bonus: chives and/or chive flowers for serving
Crush most of the walnuts and garlic and salt together in a mortar and pestle. Alternately, you can pulse with a hand blender, but leave a bit of texture & chunkiness.
Gradually work a cup of the hot water into the walnut mixture, adding more until your sauce is thick as heavy cream. Err on the thick side. Stir in half the cheese, a couple tablespoons of lemon juice, and more freshly ground black pepper than you think you’d want. Taste and add a bit more salt to the sauce if needed. If it’s all in balance, this should taste Awesome. Capital A awesome. Set aside.
Now you’re going to cook the green beans in your largest skillet. Warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the the green beans, until they’re coated with the oil, and sprinkle with salt. Dial the heat to high. Cook, uncovered, for 7-10 minutes stirring when you start to get some browning and blistering where the beans touch the pan. You really want to get some color here.
Transfer the green beans to a serving plater and spoon the walnut sauce over them. You’ll have plenty of sauce left over in case you want to toss some pasta into the mix as well. Serve topped with remaining walnuts, lemon zest, cheese, and chives/chive flowers if you have them.