Topped with crunchy pistachios and coated with a bright vinaigrette, these lemon-garlic green beans are sure to satisfy.
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Green Beans with Garlic-Pistachio Vinaigrette
Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Eaten steamed, boiled, or straight out of the can, green beans aren't necessarily a veggie that makes your mouth water. But when you give the beans some texture, they're transformed from sad greens that you fork down for some nutrients into vegetables you'll actually want to eat night after night. "The way food feels in your mouth plays an important role in how flavorful and enjoyable it is," says Molly Baz, the author of Cook This Book (Buy It, $20, amazon.com). "So a key part of selecting ingredients for your dish involves thinking about what textures they'll bring."

Baz's lemon-garlic green beans recipe proves just how effective this cooking technique is. The finely chopped pistachios lend a satisfying crunch, while the coldness of the beans gives them extra crispness and a fresh, earthy taste. (Temperature can elevate the texture and flavor of a dish, says Baz.) In addition to the mouth-feel, the lemon-garlic green beans have a light and bright flavor from the citrus that makes them the perfect side dish for umami-rich entrées, such as steak or grilled mushrooms for plant-based eaters.

Whether you're hosting a small summertime dinner party or are eating solo tonight, whip up a batch of Baz's lemon-garlic green beans to boost your veggie intake. Promise, they'll make you forget all about the soggy, bland beans you choked down as a kid, and tbh, as an adult. (P.S. you can use any leftover beans in this vegetarian-friendly paella.)

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Green Beans with Lemon, Garlic, and Pistachio Vinaigrette

Serves: 4

Cook time: 6 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup roasted, salted pistachios
  • 1 1/2 lb. green beans, romano beans, or wax beans, or a combination, ends trimmed
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan (about 1/2 oz.)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot, and season generously with salt. Finely chop pistachios until pieces are size of lentils.
  2. Once water boils, stir in beans, and cook until just tender but not limp, 5 to 6 min. While beans cook, fill a large bowl with ice and water. Using a spider strainer or tongs, transfer cooked beans to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Keep them in ice bath until completely cool.
  3. Finely grate garlic clove and zest of 1 lemon into a medium bowl. Juice both lemons, and add to the bowl, whisking all to combine. Slowly stream in oil, whisking as you go. Stir in Parmesan. Season dressing with salt and lots of pepper. Stir in pistachios.
  4. Drain beans, then transfer to a clean kitchen towel; pat dry. Add green beans to the bowl of dressing, tossing well to coat. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if desired. If you're making in advance, keep covered in the refrigerator.

Reprinted from Cook This Book. Copyright © 2021 by Molly Baz. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.