I’m really into this dish. I know it reads like a side dish – like your traditional Green Bean Almondine – but the addition of sausage really steals the show here and makes each bite hearty and well-rounded, almost like an entire dinner in one bowl! As usual, the concept was inspired but by these spicy Italian chicken sausage patties I found at my local organic market. I guess someone people might throw them on the grill like a cheeseburger, but my husband doesn’t love string beans so I thought throwing in some spicy sausage might turn him on – and mission accomplished!
SHOPPING LIST: 2 lbs. green beans, 1 lb. spicy Italian chicken sausage, 3/4 cups slivered almonds, grapeseed oil, butter, salt, pepper, onion powder
For the record, traditional Green Bean Almondine is also more like a poached green bean with the buttered nuts, whereas these green beans are sufficiently charred and cooked through. Either way, we start with the aforementioned buttered nuts. In a saucepan, heat 2 tB. of butter over medium heat, you want your butter to melt and slowly start to brown. Then add your slivered almonds and continue to cook the almonds until they are WELL toasted and golden – making sure to season your nuts with salt along the way. Remove the nuts from the pan and set aside.
Next, you are going to brown your sausage. Your pan will still be very buttery from your nuts so just add 1 lb. of spicy Italian sausage meat (if you can only find links that’s totally fine, you can uncase the meat yourself) and increase to medium-high heat. Use a flat-edged wooden spoon to REALLY BREAK UP your sausage into fine bits as they begin to cook. It will take about 5-7 minutes to sufficiently cook the sausage, making sure that you get nice crusty edges on your sausage bits. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage from the pan and you can reserve them in the same bowl as the browned almonds.
Using the slotted spoon is key so that the natural greases from the sausage remain in the pan so you can sauté your green beans in the sausage fat. Make sure all of the ends of your green beans are trimmed. Add 1 tB. of grapeseed oil to your sausage grease, and sauté your green beans over high heat for about 10-12 minutes until they are blistered and SOFT. This is always one of my husband’s complaints with green beans when they are still too crunchy – so maybe this is a preferential thing. Season you green beans with salt, pepper and onion powder. When your green beans are finished to your liking, re-add the sausage and almonds to the pan and give them a quick toss so all the ingredients and flavors really meld together!!!
You could totally serve this with a simple rice or orzo, some type of smaller format starch that will soak up all the juices, but I served mine with my favorite Strawberry Salad: