Four-Minute Side Dish

O, haricot verts, how it pains me to say this, given all that you have given us (nay, done for us), but I have grown tired of you. For eight years, you — the basic steamed and salted version of you — were there for us, a rock in our rotation, a reliable side dish we could count on. You made us feel better about ourselves, because our children loved you, too, and you were healthier than tater tots. But eight years is a long time, and I have grown weary. I have grown bored. Whatever the opposite of leaping is, that’s what my heart does when it sees you. My heart, I suppose, squats when it sees you. It sinks into the floor. But I am also loyal, and I do not want to banish your crunchy, svelte little self from our family table forever. I can’t do that to the kids and besides: I don’t want anyone else. What I want is a slight upgrade. I want to see you in a new light. I want you to impress me again. I want you to try. And that is why I am going to pair you with some toasted almonds and mint, and shower you in fresh lemon juice. Ah, yes. That’s better. What are you doing later? As a great poet once wrote — paraphrasing slightly here — your tastiness balks account! I sing you electric! And you only take four and one half minutes to prepare, which I know because I timed you, and which makes me love you even more. Consider yourself upgraded, old friend, and consider our love rekindled. — Andy

Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Mint

2 cups haricot verts
1/4 cups roasted almonds, roughly chopped
One handful chopped fresh mint
Juice of one half lemon
Salt, to taste
A few glugs of olive oil
One small pat of butter (about as much as you’d put on a piece of toast)

In a large frying pan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Add almonds and cook 2 minutes, letting them darken slightly in color. Add haricot verts and cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice, a few pinches of salt, and remove to platter. Sprinkle with mint. Serve.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What is 9 + 7 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)



I got bored with haricot verts over the holidays and sauteed up some fennel to go with them…I was very pleased with the results.


Andy, do you actually put a tablespoon of butter on a piece of toast? Your poor arteries!

Perhaps a teaspoon? A pat?

On the other hand, I’d love to try green beans with mint–yum!

Have you roasted them with olive oil and kosher salt? Almost to the crispness of green-bean-fries!


Jen, you are totally right. I wrote “a small pat of butter (about as much as you would put on a piece of toast)” and then I changed it to a tablespoon and forgot to delete the toast thing. My fault. All fixed now. Thanks. Have not roasted, but will. That sounds tasty.


This was such a nice alternative to how we normally prepare green beans. My husband said “wow, this IS really nice, I would have it again”. Thanks for another great side dish at the dinner table.