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French style green beans together with lightly toasted sweet pecans are gently tossed in nutty and sweet brown butter.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Brown Butter French Green Beans With Toasted Pecans
French Green Beans, also called Haricots Verts, are a bean delicate in both flavor and in texture. They are visually easy to identify as they are longer and skinnier and appear to have a tail at one end. On a platter, they make a stunning presentation.
If your local grocer does not carry French beans, feel like you may substitute any variety of fresh green bean you like. If the beans are especially thick, allow for an extra minute in the boiling water to cook them to tender-crisp.
There are a zillion ways to make green beans a sort of delicacy. No, I am not kidding, and yes, I get that they are a vegetable! So, how then? How do you get the green stuff to where it tastes SO GOOD?
This easy method for brown butter takes the every day green bean to a whole new level. And to really make this unique, I am using French style green beans, also known as Haricots Verts in lieu of string beans.
These French green beans with pecans swathed in nutty brown butter are among my top green bean recipes for Christmas and Easter. Well, and on those busy weeknights where time is not a luxury.
How This Recipe Came About…
I would have to say that fresh green beans are the vegetable I serve most at our table. There are other vegetables we all like, but everyone seems to appreciate nights when I set out a tasty main dish accompanied by buttery and Cheesy Mashed Potatoes Casserole and brown butter green beans.
I love a green bean casserole, but I do not always have the time to prep it. That, and we are always better for eating something fresh that has been modified very little. Brown Butter French Green Beans With Toasted Pecans are that fresh, little modified side dish that I never seem to have any leftovers of.
Do You Have What’s Needed For Brown Butter French Green Beans With Toasted Pecans? Check The List!
haricot verts or French green beans
fresh lemon juice or Parmesan cheese
How To Prep Fresh French Green Beans?
Trimming Fresh Loose Beans Purchased In Bulk: at my open air market, French beans are displayed and sold in bulk. Grab a bag and fill it, and the farmer weighs the produce to arrive at the price. When beans are loose like this, they’re straight off the vines so I always need to trim them.
Just gather small bundles with all of the tough stem ends facing in one direction, and cut just below the stem. The tapered ends are tender enough where they needn’t be trimmed.
Fully Prepped And Ready To Cook French Beans: are sold in bags and are pre-trimmed and ready to go as soon as they’re opened.
Cooking Fresh Beans:
Cooking French Beans is easy. Before you begin, prepare a large bowl with ice water and set it to the side of your stove.
Bring a sauce pan full of salted water (about 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt) to a boil and add the trimmed beans. Cook for 5 minutes.
Then grab kitchen tongs and pull the beans directly from the boiling water and plunge them into the ice bath to immediately cease cooking. This also ensures BRILLIANTLY bright green beans.
How To Properly Brown Butter?
Not too many months back, I shared an ‘added instruction’ for how to properly brown butter without burning butter. I am adding the same instructions here which I added to the beet post. And really, earmark this because you can brown butter to make just about everything special taste utterly exceptional.
Brown butter is made by cooking unsalted butter for a period of minutes long enough to turn the milk solids brown while cooking out any water present in the butter. Its proteins changed, brown butter has a richer, more intense flavor than just melted or clarified butter. Brown butter makes a delicious topping for vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans, and beets.
How To Brown Butter For Use In Delicious Dishes!
by cutting unsalted butter into small pieces and place it in a light-colored pot or pan. Light-colored cookware ensures you can see how dark the butter gets as it cooks, while small pieces enable it to melt and cook evenly.
on the heat to medium and let the butter melt. This step requires constant monitoring as the butter will go from liquid to brown in mere minutes. High heat will brown the butter very quickly, but if you don’t keep a close eye on it, the milk solids could sink to the bottom of the pan and burn. So, no stepping away, and maintain medium heat versus high heat.
you can take the pan off the burner because the butter will continue cooking even after you off the heat. The butter should be an acorn brown color and smell slightly nutty. Pour the brown butter into a bowl to end the cooking process. Now it is ready to use atop vegetables, stirred into dishes, or combined with some Bourbon and marshmallows for a colossal homemade Rice Crispy treat!
Can I Prep This Green Bean Side Dish in Advance?
This easy green bean recipe is best enjoyed right away, so I do not recommend making it in advance. It takes so little time to assemble. If you are trying to shave the minutes, trim and rinse the French green beans ahead of time. Let them hang out in your refrigerator until it’s time to cook.
Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…
There are many optional add-ins that you could use in this dish to make it not entirely average. For starters, sautéed shallots or roasted garlic. I am a fan of garlic, but absolutely LOVE sautéed shallot in this dish because they are that minuscule touch of sweet.
Instead of using all butter, opt for half truffle oil or other flavored oil, such as rosemary oil. Be careful not to add too much as flavored oils are concentrated and can be strong.
Add a pinch of cayenne or black pepper or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for kick and brightness.
Bacon bits as well as pan crisped prosciutto lends a salty profile while diced ham keeps all of the flavors balanced somewhere in between sweet and salty.
And if pecans are not an option but you still want a nutty crunch, consider sliced almonds or chopped and VERY LIGHTLY toasted macadamia nuts.
Use the stiff rind of a hard cheese and shave 1 or 2 ounces atop the cooked and plated French beans.
How Long Does It Take To Make Brown Butter French Beans?
A drool-worthy platter of crisp green vegetables that surprisingly everybody wants a forkful of once they find out it’s made with brown butter! This dish is the dish that gets done last because it’s so darn easy. Plan on 20 minutes from start to finish.
The key to keeping it to 20 minutes is to have your beans prepped and ready to go. While your salted water is coming to a boil, toast the pecans. While the beans are boiling, use those 5 minutes to start the butter melting. While waiting for the butter to foam, chop the cooled toasted pecans.
What To Eat With Brown Butter French Beans?
These French beans make a tasty side dish for Mac and Cheese or some of my other main dish recipes like Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin, Juicy Pan Seared Heritage Pork Chops With Dijon Au Jus, Fork Tender Beef Tips In An Outstanding Herb Pan Sauce, Cajun Steak With Grilled Patatas Bravas, and Crispy Chicken with Herbed Carolina Gold Rice & Scratch Pan Gravy for starters.
Brown Butter French Green Beans With Toasted Pecans
- 2 pounds French green beans trimmed
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter cut into cubes
- ¾ cup pecans
- squeeze lemon juice fresh
- shaved Parmesan cheese fresh
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Scatter the pecans on a large baking sheet and toast for 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the baking sheet as necessary. Remove from the oven and allow the pecans to cool. Chop.
- Prepare a large bowl with ice water. Set beside the stove.
- Add the Kosher salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add the green beans; cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Using kitchen tongs, remove the beans from the boiling water and plunge them into the ice bath to end the cooking process. Remove to paper towels and allow to drain.
- Melt the unsalted butter in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat until the butter first foams, then turns a light brown and begins to smell nutty; be careful not to burn it. Add the beans and toss to coat.
- Cook until the beans are warmed through, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped toasted pecans and season with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or some grated Parmesan if using.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.