Although traditional green bean almondine is plenty of awesome, Chef John’s take on the holiday classic takes it a step further. The green beans are tossed in a mellow sauce made of roasted garlic and topped with blue cheese along with toasted almonds.
I may have made this holiday recipe on every non-holiday ever. Like a Tuesday night. And almost every dinner party. Even if I have the same guests over.
You would find every excuse to make it too.
Recently though, I’ve been trying to minimize my dairy consumption. Since I can’t be shovelling in blue cheese casually on a Tuesday night, my immediate response was, “paleo-ize it!”.
But I’m no rocket scientist.
I even tried adapting some vegan blue “cheez” recipes. Sorry my plant-eating friends but no amount of plant-based foods will ever replace the void of cheese in your life. Not even cheez.
Instead I decided to merge Chef John’s method with a pasta I had many eons ago at a family-owned Italian restaurant. So I decided to toss the green beans in a bagna càuda-esque sauce of sweet roasted garlic and anchovy fillets.
The end result tastes nothing like what it was inspired by but is still delicious! Don’t let the anchovies scare you! You’re bigger than that! (hehe)
Roasted Garlic Green Bean Almondine
Serves 4-6, as a side
- 2 medium heads of garlic
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- 1 pound of green beans, ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves OR 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 nchovy fillet
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
In a foil parcel, place the heads of garlic with ¼ of the tops cut off. Distribute the ghee on the cut sides of the garlic and sprinkle with a little salt.
Close the parcel and roast in the 400°F oven for 45 minutes until the garlic has softened and lightly caramelized.
Set a large pot of salted water on the stove on high until it reaches a boil. Add the bean beans to the pot and let them cook until they are bright green, tender and still have a bite to them. Drain the green beans and plunge them into a bowl of icy water. Once they have cooled, thoroughly drain them of all moisture.
In a medium-sized pan on medium-low, heat the olive oil with the fresh thyme. Let the herbs infuse with the oil for about 5 minutes.
Add all the roasted cloves of garlic by squeezing them out of their skins along with the anchovy fillet. Break down the anchovy and roasted garlic with the back of your spoon until everything forms into a uniform mixture.
Turn the heat to medium-high and add the green beans to the pan, tossing them in the sauce to coat and heat them through. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss again and remove into a serving dish.
In a small frying pan on medium, heat the butter. Add the sliced almonds to the pan and fry them until they are a light brown hue. Spoon the almonds overtop the green beans along with the browned butter.