Green Beans with Pistachio Sauce

  • Posted on: November 18, 2014

Pistachio Pistou with Blanched Green Beans 031 This sauce is amazing.   It’s the kind of sauce you could eat by the spoonful.  Try to resist.

It’s also very versatile.   The pistachio sauce goes well over vegetables, chicken, fish and would even be delicious over the turkey you are making next week.

I made this recipe during school last year when I was assigned to teach a  15 minute cooking demonstration.  Add in another 15 minutes of prep time and that’s how long this recipe takes.

Pistachio Pistou with Blanched Green Beans 004 My assignment was to demonstrate blanching and shocking technique as well as to make a seed or nut sauce.

Blanching and Shocking is a technique that allows you to partially cook vegetables and cool them quickly so they retain their crunch.  Essentially you boil the green beans for 1-2 minutes and then shock them in a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking.  It’s a great technique for salads, grain dishes, and crudités and gives the vegetables a nice crunch and a vibrant color.  Adding sea salt to the water also adds great flavor.

Pistachio Pistou with Blanched Green Beans 010

I happen to love pistachios and have ever since I was a little girl.  When I found this recipe in the a.o.c cookbook, I knew I had to try it!

Back in the 80’s we bought pistachios that were stained red and I remember licking the red dye off my hands.  Don’t do that! Go for the organic pistachios if you can.   I shelled my pistachios which took several minutes so if you are looking for a way to cut corners, buy shelled pistachios.


Pistachio Pistou with Blanched Green Beans 020Pistachios are an excellent source of fat, protein and fiber.  The fat is mostly a heart healthy monounsaturated fat.  They supply a good amount of B vitamins and are an excellent source of many minerals including potassium and manganese which protect against high blood pressure.

Pistachio Pistou with Blanched Green Beans 012Green Beans are high in chlorophyll which gives it its rich green color but hidden in all that chlorophyll is a great source of caroteniods – comparable to carrots and red peppers but we just don’t see it!  High in antioxidants, they are very heart healthy.   (Reference: the Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray and

This is a delicious side dish to add the your Thanksgiving table.    If green beans aren’t your thing, try it over broccoli, sweet potatoes or brussels sprouts.

Another great side dish is my quinoa with roasted butternut squash, sage and candies walnuts.


Green Beans with Pistachio Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings


    Dressing Ingredients-
  • 1 cup shelled Pistachios
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Grated zest and juice of ½ orange
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • optional- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 TBSP Sea salt



1. Preheat oven to 375 and spread pistachios on a lined baking sheet, and toast for 5 minutes, until they dry out just a little.

2. Pound the garlic and a little salt in a mortar and pestle.

3. In a food processor chop the pistachios roughly, and then add the garlic. You don't want the pistachios to be too smooth so don't over process. With the machine running, pour half the olive oil. Transfer to a medium bowl.

4. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup olive oil, the orange zest, 1 Tbsp of the orange juice, 1 tbsp lemon juice and a few grinds of pepper.

5. Boil a large pot of water and add sea salt. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Blanch green beans in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Remove quickly with a slotted spoon or tongs and submerge in ice bath for a minute. Remove from ice water and drain and pat dry.

6. Pour pistachio sauce over green beans and mix together.

7. Sprinkle Pomegranate seeds on top


Sauce slightly adapted from the a.o.c cookbook

Pistachio Pistou with Blanched Green Beans 028

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