A couple of days ago I posted a blog about Lamb Chops with Black Currant BBQ Sauce. It’s a great recipe. Just one issue: what do you serve with it.

You see, side dishes are perfect only when they meet the Goldilocks criteria: not too little, not too much, just right. You need to find the “just right” vegetables and the “just right” method of preparation.

To go with the lamb, we wanted fresh green beans, the ones tumbling over the sides of the bins at our local farmers’ market. To find the right recipe, we went to the best possible source. Alice Waters in The Art of Simple Food provides recipes to use with her favorite style of ingredients: fresh, organic, and local. And being from California, it’s no surprise that she’s in love with almonds and citrus.

These beans are distinctive enough to be “different” on your plate yet still be the perfect complement for a substantial main dish like lamb chops topped with a tangy sauce.

Before summer ends and those fresh beans are gone, give this recipe a shot.

Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Lemon

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 pound green beans
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt


Trim the stem end from the beans.

In a heavy sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. When the foam has begun to subside, add the almonds. Cook, stirring fairly often, until he almonds begin to brown.

Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and salt. Cook the beans until tender in a separate pan in salted boiling water. Drain well and toss with almonds and butter. Taste for salt and adjust as needed.

Source: The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters