Zesty Green Beans with Toasted Hazelnuts

Blanching keeps these green beans bright and snappy. Topped with a zesty vinaigrette, this is a simple side dish that's both healthy and delicious.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 15 min
  • Active: 10 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Ingredients

Green Beans

Kosher salt, to taste

2 pounds green beans, trimmed

Ice cubes

Vinaigrette

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 cup white wine vinegar, may substitute champagne or sherry vinegar, or lemon juice

1/2 cup hazelnut oil, may substitute fruity olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Garnish

8 leaves basil

1 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

1 lemon

Directions

  1. Green beans: Bring a large saucepan of heavily salted water (as "salty as seawater") to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. When the water is boiling, add the green beans and cook until just crisp-tender and bright green, 3–4 minutes. Use the strainer to immediately transfer them to the ice bath to stop the cooking. Set aside while you make the vinaigrette. (Note: Green beans can be blanched 1 day ahead. After cooling, drain, wrap in a clean dish towel, and store in the refrigerator.)
  2. Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, stir the honey and vinegar together with a small rubber spatula. Add the hazelnut oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly, until all the ingredients are combined. Season with salt and pepper, whisking as you go and tasting between additions.
  3. Assemble: Line a bowl with paper towels. Transfer the cooled green beans from the ice bath into the bowl; pat them dry and remove paper towels. Spoon half of the vinaigrette over the green beans and use your hands to mix well; taste, then add more vinaigrette as needed. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving plate.
  4. Garnish: Stack the basil leaves, then roll the stack like a cigar. Finely slice crosswise to create thin ribbons of basil. (This is called a "chiffonade.") Top the green beans with the basil, followed by the hazelnuts; finish by zesting the lemon directly over the green beans. Serve immediately.
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