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


Make the walnut sauce:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Blister the green beans:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Serves 4


Serves 4-6.