green beans & almonds in brown butter with lemon

4 to 6    |   
Prep Time:
15 minutes    |   
Cook Time:
10 minutes

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green beans lemon

Originally this recipe was made with snap peas. Then I tried it with green beans and realized, aha, the perfect Thanksgiving side dish. You can double or triple it to feed a bigger group and you can make it a day ahead and reheat it, or prep it in stages to assemble just before serving. You will definitely have enough for 6 people if part of a holiday menu with multiple dishes.


kosher salt
1 pound green beans
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon minced preserved lemon peel
or grated zest of one lemon
or 1/4 teaspoon ground sumac (a lemony spice)
freshly ground pepper


Fill a saucepan half full with water, add a generous pinch of salt and place over high heat. Set a large bowl of ice water on your counter. Put a colander in the sink.

While the water comes to a boil, snap the tops off the green beans then snap each bean in half and place in colander. When all the beans have been prepped, drop them into the boiling water and cook, uncovered, until tender and no longer squeaky when you bite into one, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain beans in colander then drop them into ice water; when cold, drain again and pat dry. (You can do this up to a day ahead; refrigerate the blanched green beans, covered.)

In a large skillet, wide saute pan or wok, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides and the butter starts to turn golden, add the almonds. Cook, stirring, until almonds and butter are golden brown, about 1 minute. Throw in the blanched green beans and cook, stirring, until beans are heated through and glazed with butter, 2 to 3 minutes (depending if they were chilled before). Remove from heat, stir in the preserved lemon, lemon zest or sumac, and salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

note: To make a day ahead for Thanksgiving, either blanch the green beans in advance and finish the dish at the last minute, or cook the green beans and almonds as indicated, then cool, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day. To reheat, toss the beans and almonds in a saute pan over medium-high heat until hot through, about 3 minutes, then stir in the preserved lemon, zest or sumac.