Is it too early to start thinking of Thanksgiving? I don’t think so! After all, I think of Thanksgiving all year long! :) Also, last year I left everything to the last minute (I was the only one cooking… everything… from scratch!) and I promised myself I would never do that again! If I’m hosting, I will either ask people to bring some dishes or will make some stuff ahead. And I will choose recipes that are yes, delicious, but also quick and easy so I don’t feel like I’m going to lose it on Thanksgiving day! I mean, except the Turkey… My Turkey recipe is to die for but it is a lot of work. Still worth it, though! (I really can’t understand people that buy pre-cooked Turkey on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is all about cooking that dude!)
Anyway, Thanksgiving is not only about the Turkey. The side dishes are also very important and often neglected!
Ever since I started celebrating Thanksgiving – which only happened after I moved to the U.S., 5 years ago – I noticed that there’s always a plate of green beans on the table. So now I kinda associate green beans with Thanksgiving. Especially this recipe of Green Beans with Garlic and Almonds. However, this recipe is so delicious that it can be made all year long. We just ate some for lunch as a side to roasted chicken. My husband keeps going to the fridge and snacking on the leftovers! And I keep yelling at him to leave me some for dinner! I’m trying to keep it together so I still have some of those delicious little guys to eat later, because if I don’t I will go to bed really really cranky! (I hope my husband reads this before he eats all of them!)
In Brazil we eat a lot of green beans, in lots of dishes but especially in salads. I confess I was never crazy about them… In fact, my mom might be reading this post now and thinking: “What the heck?!? You hate vagem (which is the name for green beans in portuguese)!”. But I don’t hate them anymore, Mom, because of Thanksgiving! I gotta give it to Americans, they make green beans way better than the Brazilians. I am often saying that Brazilian food is better, but this time I need to bow down to the real Green Beans masters!
Oh, by the way, if you are going to the grocery store to buy green beans but you can’t find any, try “string beans” or “snap beans”. They are the same! :) (But you probably already knew that… I didn’t, because I’m not American! Duh!). You will often find a huuuuge mountain of them, year round (but with a peak season from May to October) displayed somewhere in the produce section,. Unless it’s Thanksgiving week.. Then you will find a very sad mini pile with all the withered/bruised green beans and you will have to spend a whole lot of time sorting through them to find something you can bring home. So buy your green beans ahead of time, folks! Last year I had to practically fight with a woman to get some. It was me and her, by the green beans “pile”, quickly trying to sort through what was left, looking at each other with suspicion and animosity. It was very stressful! I mean…I am sure I can take a pretentious fresh green bean thief any day, but I try to keep it classy. Especially when it’s the holidays and you’re supposed to pretend you’re nice and all! :P
But today I just went to the market and got two gigantic handfuls of the “mountain”, which totaled about a pound! I didn’t even have to sort through them and only found one or two bruised ones when I washed them. So I can say I’m in green beans heaven! Washed them, quickly cooked them in salted boiling water (just ’til they are tender but still crisp), sautéed in olive oil with butter and garlic and topped with garlicky almonds! Holy Green Beans! I wanna stick my face into the bowl and eat them all by myself! Why did I have to get married? WHYYYYYYYY??? Now I have to share them with my husband! :( (And by share I mean let him eat 3/4 of the whole thing.) – While I write this, I hear the sound of the hammer coming from our bedroom, where he is assembling our new Ikea dresser by himself… And now I feel extra guilty! I think I’m going to go there surprise him with some of the green beans!
So I hope you guys like this recipe. Extra points if it ends up on your Thanksgiving table! But be sure you make it before Thanksgiving, so you can enjoy it by yourself without having to share with guests! I, for sure, am going to make it more often. Fresh garlicky healthy green beans with slivered almonds = happy healthy me! I like to believe it kinda makes it up for me eating white rice with every meal! (Yes, I will confess I ate white rice with my roasted chicken and green beans! DON’T JUDGE! The day you learn how to make rice the Brazilian way, I bet you will be eating a lot of white rice too!)
- 1.5 lbs green beans, washed, with ends trimmed
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- In a large pot with salted boiling water, cook the green beans for 3 minutes.
- Immediately drain and transfer them to a bowl with iced water to stop the cooking process.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil and sauté 1 clove of minced garlic. Add the almonds and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Reserve.
- In that same skillet, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil with the butter and sauté the other 2 cloves of garlic. Add the green beans and toss them with the garlic/butter mixture and let them fry lightly until crisp, bright green and maybe even lightly browned in some spots.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the green beans to a serving dish and sprinkle the almonds.
- Serve while still warm.