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Green Beans With Pistachio Mint Pesto

Words and recipe by Romilly Newman.

For a while, I secretly loathed green beans but couldn’t exactly tell you why. It wasn’t something I was ready to admit to myself or others. But after a little soul searching, I can attribute my former distaste to the fact that oftentimes green beans are just a little too mushy, slightly watery, and not quite green enough. This was until I had the “special” at Jody William’s and Rita Sodi’s masterful restaurant, Via Carota in the West Village, New York. It was a beautiful mound of thin French green beans (haricot verts) tossed in the most luscious handmade pesto you’ve ever had and it hit all the right notes. The beans were crisp and fresh. They snapped as soon as you bit into them. The pesto was rich and savory but seamlessly coated the beans in a glossy layer of bright green. I immediately realized this was going to be something I’d regularly crave, so I went home and tried my own take. This green beans recipe is what I came up with. 

Green Beans With Pistachio Mint Pesto
Green Beans With Pistachio Mint Pesto

I made a slightly heartier pesto by adding pistachios, and mint, leaving it on the coarser side. I also sprinkled some crushed pistachios on top for added crunch. The key here, and with string beans in general, is to cook them for such a short amount of time, and then immediately throw them into an ice bath to preserve their texture and color. The ice bath might sound like a step purely for theatrics, but I promise you it’s the only way your beans will pass the test. Keep reading for the green beans recipe and enjoy!

Green Beans With Pistachio Mint Pesto
Green Beans With Pistachio Mint Pesto

Green Beans With Pistachio Mint Pesto

By Romilly Newman.


1lb French green beans, trimmed 

½ cup fresh mint 

½ cup fresh basil 

⅓ cup pecorino Romano, freshly grated 

⅓ cup parmesan, freshly grated 

Zest of one lemon and 1 tsp of juice 

⅓ cup lightly toasted shelled pistachios, plus more for serving 

½ cup extra virgin olive oil 





Fill a mixing bowl with ice and water, set aside. 

Set a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the green beans for 60 seconds and then immediately transfer to an ice bath. Let them swim around for a minute, then strain and place on a clean kitchen towel to dry off.

In the bowl of a food processor, add mint, basil, pecorino, parmesan, lemon, and pistachios. Pulse until the herbs and pistachios are coarsely ground, then, with the processor running, add olive oil in a slow stream. Once mixture is emulsified and still slightly textured, transfer to a mixing bowl. 

Season to taste with salt and pepper and add green beans. Toss until completely coated with the pesto. If you find your pesto to be too thick you can drizzle a bit of extra olive oil to help break it up. 

Place beans on a platter, add additional lemon zest, a handful of roughly chopped pistachios, grated parmesan and pecorino, drizzle of oil, and salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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