Green Beans Salad with Toasted Pistachios

ostella bistro

This is one of my favorite salads to make as a side for days when dinner is a a meat heavy one. The crunchy slightly sweet green beans are gently tossed with some butter and garlic, and mixed with some toasted pistachios, to create a riot of flavours. I love adding nuts to my salads for the extra crunch they provide. Pistachios have a strong nutty flavour that is rich and sweet tasting with an ever so slight salty aftertaste. I know what you are thinking, pistachios and green beans just doesn’t sound like a combination that would work! But trust me, it does, so wonderfully well. Their pairing while a little unusual, is something like adding sea salt to your dark chocolate dessert, you know it’s a little weird, but you still want it.

You can of-course play it safe and go with the trusted Green Beans Almondine, but where’s the fun in that. The recipe for this is super simple, just make sure you use the freshest green beans you can get. The fresher they are, the more crunchier they will be. Also, use unsalted pistachios and toast them lightly on a skillet. The green beans are trimmed, washed and then blanched in salted water for a few minutes. The trick is to not overcook them, as you want them to stay crunchy and not limp. I always run my blanched greens under ice cold water so that they retain their green color, and this also prevents them from cooking further in the latent heat. The pistachios are meanwhile toasted on another skillet, and then removed to cool. Garlic sauteed with butter until slightly soft, and then the green beans and pistachios tossed in. Optionally, you can add juice of half a lemon to the butter garlic mix before tossing in the beans if you like. I like mine without the lemon juice but some friends prefer it with. So go with what you like.

Green Beans Salad with Pistachios

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: “easy”
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound Green Beans or French Beans with root ends trimmed
  • 1 Garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 cup shelled Pistachios (unsalted)
  • 2tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 Lemon juiced (optional)

RECIPE

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the green beans to it. Blanch it for a few minutes until they turn a bright green. 2-3 minutes is good enough. The beans should be cooked but still maintain their crunch.
  2. Drain and run the green beans under cold running water. This helps in sealing in the bright green color and they don’t end up looking sad and washed out!
  3. In a skillet, toast the shelled pistachios until you can smell the nutty aroma. Remove it from the heat to cool. Roughly chop them up. I usually just put the nuts in a ziplock bag and pound it lightly.
  4. In the same skillet, melt the butter and add the minced garlic to it, sauteing until it is slightly golden. Remove from heat (add the lemon juice at this stage if using), and toss the green beans in.
  5. Season well with sea salt and crushed black pepper. Toss in the chopped pistachios and gently mix around until well coated.

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Serve this as a side dish with roast meats, shepherd’s pie, or on its own as a summer salad lunch. It even tastes good chilled, so always make extra for some leftovers 🙂

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