I know some folks have a soft spot for old-fashioned green bean casserole, but I find it too goopy for my tastes. Here's a Thanksgiving-worthy alternative that's fresh, zippy, and a nice counterpoint to all the other rich foods on the holiday table. (It's also vegan-friendly!)
For me, one of the joys of preparing Thanksgiving dinner (or any meal, for that matter) is showing gratitude for my ingredients. I wanted to create a dish that honors the naturally crisp texture and flavor of green beans, while adding a few special touches beyond everyday steamed vegetables.
These beans are cooked just until tender, tossed with a lemony vinaigrette and topped with a blend of toasted almonds, breadcrumbs, garlic, and lemon zest. The combination is vibrant, savory, and quite possibly the most delectable green bean dish I have ever tasted! If there weren't so many other dishes on the Thanksgiving table, I'd be inclined to double or triple the recipe.
One more thing that makes this dish perfect for entertaining – or bringing to potlucks – is that it's delicious served a room temperature. No need to stress about keeping it warm! Make the vinaigrette and almond breadcrumb topping ahead, and then combine them with the green beans before serving.
Lemony Green Beans With Almond Breadcrumbs
1/2 cup blanched and slivered almonds
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Flaky sea salt
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
Lightly toast almonds in a skillet over medium heat. Let cool, then transfer to a food processor and grind to the consistency of breadcrumbs.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add almonds, breadcrumbs, garlic, and lemon zest and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and golden. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Set aside.
Place lemon juice in a small bowl and slowly whisk in the remaining olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain green beans, return to the pot, and toss with the lemon juice and olive oil vinaigrette.
To serve, arrange green beans on a platter, drizzling with vinaigrette left at the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle almond and breadcrumb mixture on top.
Related: Thanksgiving Sides: 5 Alternatives to Green Bean Casserole
(Image credits: Leela Cyd; Emily Han)