When I came to France for the first time as a teenager, I thought green beans almondine were the quintessence of French culinary sophistication. They’re still pretty fab. I also like to serve them with lemon wedges for those (like me) who like a little citrusy tang.

1 lb. green beans, trimmed
½ cup (2 oz.) sliced or flaked almonds
3 Tbs. / 45 g. butter or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and have a large bowl of cold water ready. Add the green beans to the pot. Once the water returns to a rolling boil, cook the green beans 4 minutes, or until just tender.

Drain the green beans, then immediately transfer them to the cold water to stop cooking. Drain again.

Spread the almonds in a large skillet (no need for oil), then heat them over medium heat, shaking the pan regularly, for 3 to minutes to toast the almonds. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the butter to the skillet, then the garlic, and sauté 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the green beans to the pan, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, or until heated through. Fold in the toasted almonds.