Savory side dishes are the best part of any menu assembly, and this green bean gremolata is one of my favorites.

Often, side dishes are as important as the main meal itself. They must balance the flavor and, of course, add a bit of color.

green beans gremolata

Green beans, also known as haricots verts, are a must-have side dish for any occasion, especially holidays.

This simple green beans gremolata is perfect for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the 4th of July. The list is never-ending.

In our household, these are a more sought-after than their green counterparts, Brussels sprouts or broccoli.

This dish of green beans gremolata is healthy, easy to prepare, and delicious. You can enjoy this dish all year round.

For this recipe, I’ve taken a traditional gremolata and have given it an update by bringing in new flavors.

In this Article

The Best Part is

The best part is that you can prepare this green bean recipe the day before. Making the dish ahead takes all the stress out and leaves you with spare time to enjoy yourself.

All you need to do is clean your beans and briefly cook them. Then, immerse them immediately into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

This step will prevent your beans from overcooking while maintaining their nice and crispy green color.

Plus, as you know, we eat with our eyes too. I do not know about you, but I do not care for brown or green beans when overcooked. This simple blanching process will ensure you have vibrant beans with a bright green color.

One important tip, though, is to drain the beans and pat them dry before storing them in a plastic Ziploc bag.

In the morning, take them out of the fridge to warm up before adding the finishing touches.

green beans gremolata

What is Gremolata?

Gremolata is a combination of parsley, lemon zest, and garlic that has been finely chopped.

I chop the parsley and garlic in a food processor to save time.

I also add in lemon zest, parmesan cheese, and toasted pine nuts. It takes just a few minutes to make this easy condiment.

Finish it with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy this wonderful gremolata recipe.

This delicious gremolata can also be used with osso buco. You can season chicken and fish with it as well.

Do not skip the roasted pine nuts. They give this dish a wonderful, uplifting, savory flavor. You will love it.

Why You’ll Love Green Bean Gremolata

HealthyGreen beans are a low-calorie food that provides vitamins C and K, fiber, and folate.

  • Flavorful – Thanks to all of the savory ingredients, from pleasantly pungent garlic and nutty parmesan to fresh parsley and toasted pine nuts, these beans are full of flavor. 
  • Versatile – You can serve these beans alongside nearly any main dish or use the gremolata for other purposes. Make it a sauce for proteins, or toss other veggies in it.
green bean gremolata ingredients

Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed to make this Green Bean Gremolata

A quick introduction to all the ingredients. Do read the complete recipe below for amounts.

Green beans: Be sure to use crisp and bright green beans without bruising. They should be firm to the touch.

Minced garlic: Cloves of garlic should be fresh and free of any bruising.

Lemon zest: Zest all the yellow, minding not to zest the white pit, which is bitter.

Parsley: Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley is my preference because it has the most flavor. Use the stems, too.

Parmesan cheese: Grating your fresh parmesan would be best. Don’t skip incorporating the cheese — it marries beautifully with all the other ingredients.

Pine nuts: These are my favorite addition — they bring the gremolata to a new level.

Lemon juice: Lemon adds a fresh and savory taste to this vegetable side dish, bringing all the ingredients together. 

green beans gremolata

Cooking tips and step-by-step instructions to create this excellent Green Bean Gremolata. 

You can find the printable recipe with all the correct amounts at the bottom of this post. 

In this roasted green bean gremolata dish, you can eat it either hot off the skillet or cold. I prefer it cold.

  • When cleaning the green beans, cut off the end and pull the string center filament towards you. Those can be hard to eat for the little ones.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Then, add the green beans to the boiling water.
  • Blanch the green beans for a few minutes and immediately submerge them into a large bowl of cold water.
  • Once the green beans are cold, remove them from the ice bowl. Drain the beans in a colander, put them into a bowl, and dry them with a towel. At this juncture, you can either store them and use them later or continue preparing your recipe. 
  • Use a large skillet to saute them. You want to saute them for a couple of minutes.
  • The squeeze of lemon at the last minute gives it a nice final touch and enhances all the flavors.
  • Don’t use the bitter white part of the lemon when zesting. It can ruin the taste of the dish.

What to Serve With Green Beans Gremolata

Green beans gremolata is a great side dish for so many meals. Pair it with poultry like your Thanksgiving turkey or a spatchcocked chicken or with beef tenderloin or smothered pork chops.

It is also a good option for more casual meals like jalapeño burgers for a cookout. Or serve it alongside a simple bowl of French onion soup

green beans gremolata

Variations 

  • Vegetables – Toss this sauce with other veggies like broccoli rabe, carrots, or zucchini. 
  • Fresh herbs – Incorporate other herbs like basil, cilantro, or mint. 
  • Zest – Instead of lemon zest, incorporate orange zest for a different fresh flavor.

Other Savory Side Dishes

Cauliflower Polonaise

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mustard

Mushroom Salad with Herbs

Roasted Bell Pepper with Italian Farro Salad

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between French-style and Italian-style green beans? 

Italian-style green beans have a pod that is fairly flat when compared with French-style beans. On the other hand, French green beans are small and thin. They also call French green beans haricots vert.

How to jazz up green beans? 

Thanks to the fairly neutral flavor of green beans, they go well with many herbs and spices. This gremolata is one of the very best ways to dress them up. 

Are green beans good for you? 

Green beans contain a wealth of healthy nutrients, making them an ideal accompaniment to any meal.

Green beans gremolata

Storage 

These green beans are stored well as long as you blanch them. This makes them an ideal make-ahead dish for a gathering or meal prep. 

Make-Ahead: Blanch the beans and store them in the refrigerator until you can toss them with the gremolata. 

Refrigerator: Cooked green beans will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Store them in an airtight container.

Freezer: They will freeze for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Equipment and ingredients used to make this recipe:

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02/19/2024 03:34 am GMT

Green Beans Gremolata

5 from 15 votes
green beans gremolata
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Super easy and so savory. A must-try side dish!

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound French string beans
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and blanch them for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender but still crisp. Drain the beans in a colander and immediately put them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve their bright green color.
  • For the gremolata, toss the garlic, lemon zest, parsley, parmesan, and pine nuts in a small bowl and set aside.
  • When ready to serve, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Drain the beans and pat them dry. Add the beans to the pan and sauté, turning frequently, for 2 minutes, until coated with olive oil and heated through.
  • Remove from the heat, add the gremolata and toss well.
  • Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.

Notes

Storage 
These green beans store well as long as you blanch them. This makes them an ideal make-ahead dish for a gathering or meal prep. 
Make-Ahead: Blanch the beans and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to toss them with the gremolata. 
Refrigerator: Cooked green beans will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Store them in an airtight container.
Freezer: Freeze cooked green beans for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Nutrition

Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 46mg | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 9.3mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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Originally published on August 18, 2013.