Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Green Beans with Almond Pesto

Earlier this summer, we were given some green beans from a friend's garden, a friend who was much more on top of his planting schedule than we were.  I made this recipe probably five times, and I was eager to share it with you all, but I had to wait until we had beans at the Big Red Farm!  And now we do.  We're growing green and yellow (or "wax") beans, and both are sweet, crunchy and delicious.  This salad uses them blanched just enough to brighten their color but keep their crunch, then tossed with a flavorful and protein-heavy almond pesto.  Vegetarian, gluten-free, and quick!

adapted almost not at all from

serves 4 

1 lb green beans
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and cooled
about 3/4 oz. Pecorino or Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup grated, but no need to grate if you're using a food processor)
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed (optional)
leaves from a sprig or two of fresh thyme
a pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
a pinch coarse sea or kosher salt
1-2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
cherry tomatoes for garnish (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Trim the ends of the green beans, cut each one in half, and cook them in boiling water until crisp tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Plunge them into an ice water bath to fully cool. Drain and pat dry. (If you have no patience for the precision of ice water baths, take the green beans out a full minute early as they will continue cooking as they cool.)

In a food processor, grind the almonds, cheese, garlic, thyme, pepper and salt to a coarse paste. Add the vinegar, and pulse again. Stir in the oil and adjust the seasonings to taste.

Toss the cooked green beans with the pesto in a large bowl, drizzling extra olive oil as needed.  Garnish with halved cherry tomatoes if you like.  Serve cool.

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