I have to admit that when dinner is served, the veggies usually get the least attention from me.  It’s not that they are not good…it’s that sometimes they lack a little something…a bit of pizzazz.  In this recipe video, I wanted to show you recipe for green beans, with parmesan & pine nuts that I think will knock your socks off.  For this version, I retain all the great health benefits of the green beans, but also a some flavor and textural elements that I think make them much more interesting, and that will entice you to eat a few more than you otherwise would.  Let’s get to it.

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

This recipe is very simple with just a few ingredients.  What I think makes it special is the combination of nicely cooked beans, with a savory/salty component (the cheese) and a firm texture component (the Pine nuts).   Mixing flavors and textures makes the dish more exciting, and you can swap out other ingredients to replace these, but you should always:

  1. Make sure you don’t overcook the green beans…no one likes them soft and mushy
  2. Use good ingredients.  If the beans aren't be freshest, use asparagus, or squash, or broccoli.  You’ll also want a good parmesan cheese, olive oil, and nuts
  3. Don’t forget to season; too often I see vegetables seasoned like they are an after thought
  4. Balance.  You want to make sure the components are in proportion…think about getting a bit of cheese and 1 – 2 nuts on every bite, when you think about quantities of the ingredients

Ingredients (for two)

  • Quarter pound fresh green beans
  • Parmesan cheese (to be shaved over the beans)
  • 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Salt and pepper

Making Green Beans with Parmesan & Pine Nuts

  • In a dry sauté pan, toast the pine nuts until they are slightly browned.  Set aside on a paper towel to cool
  • Bring about an inch of salted water to a boil in a the sauté pan and add the cleaned (ends removed) green beans
  • Let them cook in the simmering water for about 5 minutes; but start checking after 3 minutes
  • Once they beans are tender drain the water off, and add the butter to the beans
  • Let them sauté for about a minute, until the butter is melted and season with salt and pepper
  • Add the pine nuts and toss to combine
  • Transfer to your serving dish, and with a vegetable peeler, shave a few strips of parmesan cheese over the beans
  • You may also want to add a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice…although I don’t really think it needs it

It literally takes about 3 extra minutes to add these couple touches to the green beans, but I think it makes a world of difference.  For presentation purposes, they look awesome, and as I mentioned above the nuts and cheese really do add some punch to the flavor…and (at least in my case) get me eating more beans.   You can swap out other nuts, veggies and cheese if you’d like…be creative and let me know how it works out with a comment below.

Enjoy!

Main Ingredient: 
Vegetables