When I was a little girl, I hated green beans. I used my fork to slide them off my plate into my napkin when my mom was distracted. Then I wrapped them up, said I needed to use the bathroom and flushed them down the toilet. Leave no evidence. Yes, I was a brat. That said, when I grew up green beans became delicious to me, especially Grandma Julia’s Green Beans!
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Green beans with diced tomatoes, pine nuts and chopped basil: Grandma Julia's Green beans


Grandma Julia’s Green Beans:

I don’t flush green beans down the toilet anymore, unless they come from a can. I just can’t eat canned green beans…because of childhood trauma and all. But I can eat fresh green beans, sautéed with shallots, tossed with tomatoes and basil, and sprinkled with a little sea salt. Thanks to my Grandma Julia we have a wonderful fresh green bean recipe that we make almost every Thanksgiving, and a few times in between! It has morphed a little over the years, we’ve added the shallots and the pine nuts but the essence is still the same.

Green beans with diced tomatoes, pine nuts and chopped basil on white platter: Grandma Julia's Green beans

How to Chiffonade:

This recipe calls for a “rustic pesto”, meaning we use some or all the ingredients of pesto but don’t blend it into a paste. In this case we use olive oil, pine nuts and fresh, fragrant basil. When making these delicious green beans (that no one would ever flush) we use a technique called a chiffonade for the basil. Simply stack your basil leaves, roll as tightly as you can and slice. You end up with thin ribbons of basil.

A photo collage of a woman's hands demonstrating how to chiffonade basil for use in Grandma Julia's Green Beans

When it All Comes Together:

So beautiful! And all the colors of the holidays. But you don’t have to wait for the holidays, these green beans are great served alongside almost any protein and are especially good served as a side to most Italian main courses.

Grandma Julia's Green Beans: Green beans, tomatoes, pine nuts and onions on a white platter



The Recipe: Grandma Julia’s Green Beans

Tips and what you will need: a good knife (my favorite) and a good pan. Enjoy and keep a close eye on the kids ~ Linda Spiker

Grandma Julia's Green Beans
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

A beautiful recipe made with fresh green beans, shallots, tomatoes, basil and pin nuts!

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy side dish recipe, holiday recipe, Thanksgiving
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 3 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 6 basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 2 med sized shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • sea salt
  • roasted pine nuts
  1. Prepare all ingredients while you bring a large pot of water to boil.

  2. When water comes to a boil, place a medium sized saucepan on med-high heat. Melt butter and begin sautéeing shallots. Sauté for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Place beans in boiling water, blanche for 3 minutes. Drain in colander then pour beans into pan with shallots.

  4. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and basil, cook for 1-2 more minutes. Add diced tomato, and pine nuts, sprinkle with sea salt, toss and serve.





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Whole 30, grain free, gluten free, dairy free option