Green beans are often overlooked as a tasty vegetable side dish. Still, there are so many delicious ways to prepare them that they have become one of my favorite vegetables. I only eat fresh green beans, however, and I only buy them when they are bright green and tender.
This bean side dish is effortless as the beans take just minutes to cook until they are tender-crisp, and once dressed in seasoned olive oil, they are topped with a flavorful breadcrumb topping. You can either use Panko breadcrumbs or homemade breadcrumbs, but you want a coarse-textured crumb for this dish, so do not use fine breadcrumbs.
The breadcrumbs are flavored with anchovy, lemon, and garlic, and are browned in olive oil. The crumbs give the beans a nice crunch and add just enough flavor to create a delicious bean side dish.
My favorite way to cook green beans is to blanch them in boiling salted water until they are tender-crisp. I then take them from the boiling water and drop them into an ice water bath to retain their bright green color and stop the cooking process at just the right point, so they do not get soft. After the beans are cooked, you can then season them with a myriad of options to enhance their flavor and create a variety of different side dishes.
- 1 1/2 Pounds Fresh Green Beans, Ends Trimmed
- 1⁄4 Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Divided
- 4 to 5 Anchovy Fillets
- 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
- Coarse Black Pepper
- 1 Cup Homemade Breadcrumbs or 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1⁄3 Cup Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Drop the beans into the pot, then cook until tender crisp, about 6 to 7 minutes.
- Drain the beans in a colander, then drop them into a bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking process and keep the beans bright green.
- Heat the olive oil, in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the anchovies and stir until they melt away into the oil.
- Lower the heat, and add the garlic, lemon zest, and some black pepper and stir a minute or 2.
- Add the breadcrumbs and cook until deeply fragrant and just beginning to brown.
- Remove from the heat.
- Cool, add the cheese and mix.
- After 10 minutes, drain the beans and blot dry with paper towels and place in a bowl.
- Toss the beans in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the beans onto a platter and scatter the breadcrumbs over the top.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 252Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 492mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 10g