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Green Beans with Lemon-Butter Bread Crumbs and Toasted Almonds

from The New Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan
Green Beans with Lemon-Butter Bread Crumbs and Toasted Almonds

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or other plain dried bread crumbs
Zest of 1 lemon
Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, stem ends trimmed
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Freshly ground pepper

Serves 6 to 8

This and many other wonderful recipes may be found in The New Thanksgiving Table
by Diane Morgan from Chronicle Books


If truth be told, this cookbook does not contain the classic Thanksgiving green bean bake. I'm just not a fan. My grandmother made it, my mother made it, but I've not passed that tradition to my children. I've updated the classic using fresh green beans and toasted slivered almonds, and have skipped the condensed mushroom soup in favor of a spritz of fresh lemon juice. The topping is buttery-crisp panko tossed with fresh lemon zest. It's a fresh-tasting winner.

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the panko and toast, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Fill a large saucepan two-thirds full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the beans and cook for about 2 minutes until bright green and still very crisp. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl two-thirds full of ice water. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the beans to the ice water. Let cool in the water for 2 minutes and then drain thoroughly, blot dry with paper towels, and set aside.

In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and swirl to coat the pan. Add the green beans and sauté, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes until the beans are heated through and crisp-tender. Add the lemon juice and almonds and sauté for 1 minute longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl. Sprinkle with the panko topping and serve immediately.

This sauté is best when made right before serving. However, the green beans can be blanched up to 1 day in advance. Spread the cooled beans on dry paper towels or a clean cotton towel, roll up jelly-roll style, and place in a sealed plastic bag. Remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before sautéing. The panko topping and toasted almonds can be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Cover and store in separate airtight containers at room temperature.

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