Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables. When I saw the packages of Haricot Verts, which is French for green beans at Trader Joe’s, I had to buy some. I love this variety of the vegetable, because they are sweeter, longer, thinner and more tender than most American varieties. I thought they would taste delicious with the cilantro pesto recipe that I had seen in America’s Test Kitchen, Fresh Cooking, 2015. The Test Kitchen used the pesto in a cold bean salad, but I used it in a hot steamed vegetable side. Along with the cilantro, it has fresh lemon juice and toasty walnuts and garlic. My husband and I found this dish to be very tasty warm, but we think the cold salad version would be terrific too!
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 2½ cups cilantro leaves and stems, trimmed
- ½ cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 green onion, sliced thin
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
- Over medium heat, toast walnuts and garlic in a medium skillet, stirring often, until fragrant for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. After the garlic cools, peel and chop coarsely.
- Using a blender or food processor, process cilantro, oil, green onion, lemon juice, walnuts and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Pesto can be made up to 2 days in advance.
- Steam the beans until tender crisp. Transfer to a large bowl. Toss with the pesto and serve immediately. Add salt to taste. 6 to 8 servings.