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  • Diane Lawton

how to make Wicked tasting green beans, three ways

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

I used to hate vegetables. I swear everyone cooked them to a tasteless mush. Many restaurant chefs and cooks still have this uncanny talent. Use my wicked tricks from three decades of making finger lickin food, to get everyone to eat their veggies.

Green beans with garlic, anchovies & almonds

Grade: Easy: Less than 10 minutes

Taste Test: Anchovies add a depth of flavour that's unbelievably tasty

Serves: 4


400g of fresh or froze green beans

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for the beans

Salt and pepper

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (for the dressing)

3 tablespoons of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, peeled

2 anchovy filets (tinned)

¼ cup sliced almonds


Make the dressing first.

  1. Remove anchovies from the tin and drain on kitchen paper. Add anchovies to a blender containing the garlic clove, mustard and sherry vinegar and 6 tbs of the olive oil. Blend for 30 seconds.

  2. Heat a heavy skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat, and add 2 tbs of olive oil. Add the green beans and sauté for about 5-7 minutes until cooked to your liking. Season with salt and pepper and put into a large bowl. Go easy on the salt because the anchovies also give a saltiness to this dish.

  3. Whilst beans are cooking, place sliced almonds in a layer in a dry frying pan and sauté over medium heat. Keep moving them around in the pan with a wooden spatula. Remove from the pan once lightly browned and fragrant. This just takes a minute or two.

  4. Place cooked beans into a serving dish and drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Chefs Tip 1: The anchovy dressing is fabulous drizzled on salads, and all green vegetables.

Chefs Tip 2: For an extra hit of divine flavour, sprinkle this dish with grated parmesan

Green Beans with Bacon and Cider

Grade: Easy: Less than 10 minutes

Taste Test: Awesome

Serves: 4


a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

6 slices bacon, chopped

1 tsp black pepper

450 g green beans, washed, dried and trimmed, or frozen

60 ml cider


  1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add bacon and cook until crisp, 5 minutes. Set crispy bacon aside

  2. Stir fry the beans in the bacon fat for 2-3 mins.

  3. Add cider, and black pepper to pan and lower heat, simmer 3 to 5 minutes until cooked to your liking.

  4. Sprinkle crispy bacon over the green beans to serve.

Chefs Tip 1: Don’t add salt because the bacon is sufficiently salty.

Green Beans with mustard seeds

Grade: Simple: Less than 10 minutes

Taste Test: Spicy and succulent, vegan

Serves: 4


500g green beans (fresh or frozen)

2 -4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1⁄2 teaspoon salt or less

black pepper

1 -2 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Cut beans in half

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok.

  3. Saute mustard seeds until they begin to pop

  4. Add green beans to the pan with lemon juice, salt and pepper

  5. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 3 minutes.

  6. Serve

Mustard seeds Fact File:

Mustard seeds are a tiny package of nutrients. They contain selenium, known for its anti-inflammatory effects: they are also rich in calcium, manganese, omega 3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, protein and dietary fibre and magnesium.

Buy them in most big supermarkets, or Asian supermarkets. Cost around £1 for 100g

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