Recipes Side Dishes Vegetables Marinated Summer Beans with Toasted Almonds and Dry Jack Cheese

Marinated Summer Beans with Toasted Almonds and Dry Jack Cheese

Green and yellow summer beans shine with flavor when cooked until just tender and tossed in a simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil. Use aged dry Monterey jack cheese if you can find it, as it has a sharp, sweet flavor that brings out the sweetness of the beans.


  • 1 lemon 
  • 1/2 lb. green beans 
  • 1/2 lb. yellow wax beans 
  • Salt, to taste 
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon 
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1/2 cup curls or shavings of dry Monterey jack or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese  
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted 


Zest the lemon to yield 1 tsp. grated zest. Juice the lemon and reserve 3 Tbs. juice.

Trim the beans and cut them diagonally if desired. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans and boil until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and plunge the beans into ice water to cool. Drain well and put in a large bowl.

Add the olive oil, tarragon, 2 1/2 Tbs. of the lemon juice and the lemon zest to the beans. Mix well, season with salt and pepper, and add more lemon juice, if desired. Transfer to a platter, top with the cheese and almonds, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).