I have an easy spring side dish to tell you about today!
These buttery green beans are SO simple but oh so delicious.
Green beans are one of those veggies I love but often forget about. We eat a lot of broccoli, brussels spouts, asparagus, potatoes, and side salads in this house. I often unintentionally overlook the humble green bean.
I think the key to good green beans is seasoning them adequately and cooking them until they are juuuuust tender-crisp. Underdone and they’re stringy and unpleasant to chew, and overdone, they’re kinda slimy and turn a blah color green. There is a sweet spot in there that makes for perfectly tender but crisp beans.
The recipe below is my method!
It starts with blanching the green beans in a little bit of salty water first, just for a couple minutes to take out some of their raw bite. Then, I sauté them in lots of garlicky butter because…well…everything tastes good in garlicky butter. Right? Right.
The actual active cook time for the beans is maybe 7 minutes total? More than that and you’ll get into that slimy realm, and we don’t want that.
These green beans are delicious just as is – in garlic butter with a little salt and pepper. But! I really wanted to amp up the flavor on these. Make ’em something special. So! I made a quick and easy gremolata to sprinkle over top of the buttery green beans once they’re done cooking.
Into the gremolata goes toasted pistachios, lots of fresh herbs, and lots of fresh lemon zest. A little olive oil to bring everything together and a little seasoning to make sure it all tastes great…and you’re done. The easiest fresh condiment to put on top of just about anything.
This gremolata would be great on any grilled meat or veg. It would be great stirred into hot pasta. I could even see it with eggs and toast. Yum.
It’s so bright and buttery at the same time; the pistachios really add some heft and luxury to an otherwise herb-lemon sauce. And the marriage with the buttery green beans is nothing short of spectacular!
This is one of those dishes that shows simple really can be better.
These Buttery Green Beans with Pistachio-Lemon Gremolata are a spring side dish that comes together with minimal ingredients and time but delivers in a major way in the flavor department. Buttery pistachios and bright herbs and lemon make these beans pop in a new and wonderful way! These are proof that simple is sometimes best.
For the Gremolata:
- ½ cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped (sliced almonds would also work)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced or grated
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Green Beans:
- 1 lb green beans, washed and trimmed
- ¼ cup water
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
- Additional salt and black pepper, to taste
- Fresh lemon juice, for serving
For the Gremolata:
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the pistachios. Toast in the pan for a few minutes, watching them carefully so they do not burn. Remove from the heat to cool.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir well to combine. Stir in the toasted pistachios. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Set aside while you cook the green beans.
For the Green Beans:
- Place the beans, water, and salt in a large skillet. Cover and bring the water to a boil. Uncover and cook the green beans for 2 minutes.
- Drain the water and beans and set the beans aside.
- Return the skillet to the stove and set over medium heat. Add the butter.
- Once the butter is melted, add the garlic and cook for a minute or so until fragrant.
- Return the green beans to the pan, toss well in the garlic butter, and cook for another 1-2 minutes. You want them to be tender-crisp and bright green, so don’t cook them for too long! Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Place the warm green beans on a large serving platter and garnish generously with the gremolata and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve warm.
Alternatively, you can mix the gremolata into the beans right in the pan, tossing well to evenly coat the beans in the gremolata. Spritz with lemon juice and serve warm.
Gremolata lightly adapted from here.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: side dishes
Keywords: buttery green beans, garlic butter green beans, easy vegetable side dishes, pistachio lemon gremolata, vegetables with gremolata, vegetarian side dishes