I teamed up with California Ripe Olives to bring you these Green Beans with California Ripe Olive Butter. I’ve been compensated for my time. All opinions are mine alone.
An easy recipe for tender green beans tossed in a rich black olive compound butter. Makes a great side dish for Thanksgiving and all year long!
Nutty, smooth California Ripe Black Olives and green beans are a natural match made in heaven. To keep things easy, you can make the olive butter ahead of time, then whip this recipe up at the last minute for a phenomenal vegetable side that goes with anything. It’s definitely on repeat at my house.
This recipe would definitely be a welcome side dish at your Thanksgiving dinner, too. But don’t wait until then to make it—make it tonight!
What is compound butter?
Nothing short of magical, compound butter, also known as finishing butter, is a terrific way to add flavor to almost anything.
Softened butter, blended together with savory ingredients like olives, herbs, garlic, or citrus zest—sometimes even a bit of anchovy—that melts like a dream over grilled meats, corn on the cob, and in this case, fresh green string beans.
I love California Ripe Olives in this compound butter because of their bright, briny flavor. California produces more than 95% of the olives grown in the United States. There are two family-owned canning facilities and 700 farmers. The farms come in all sizes – from small five-acre lots to thousands of acres. Many families have been growing California Ripe Olives for generations!
How to make olive compound butter:
You can make this easy compound butter ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you need it. Then take it out and let it soften to room temperature before finishing the beans.
- In a food processor, combine olives, garlic, shallots and butter and pulse until everything is completely blended.
- To make compound butter by hand. Just finely (really finely) chop the olives, garlic, and shallots. Add them to a bowl with the softened butter and mash the ingredients together thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
Hint: If you’re making a bigger batch of compound butter, Which I definitely recommend, you can freeze it to have when you need it. Melt it over salmon, grilled shrimp, or just more beautiful green beans.
How long do compound butters last?
Depending on what is in them, store compound butters for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, or up to 6 months in the freezer. I like to label my compound butters, so I know what I have to work with.
How to freeze compound butter:
- After mixing, form the compound butter into a log form on a sheet of waxed paper or parchment.
- Use the paper to roll the compound butter into a cylinder; sometimes, a flat edge such as a bench knife or dough scraper can come in handy to nudge things along into the shape you want.
- Then fold the edges over one another to seal it in, and then place it in a freezer bag.
- You can slice off pieces of the butter as you need it. It makes everything taste a little (a lot) more indulgent.
How to blanch green beans:
If you need to, you can blanch the green beans in advance, and store them in the refrigerator until you need them.
- First, trim the beans. Snap off or snip the stem ends and remove any tough strings that run along the length of the beans. It’s okay to leave the tails.
- Find a pot large enough to hold the green beans, and fill it with water. If you don’t have a pot large enough, that’s okay too—you can blanch the beans in batches.
- Salt the water and bring it to a rapid boil. While you’re waiting, fill another bowl with ice water and keep it nearby.
- When the water boils, add the green beans and boil until bright green and tender crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon or drain completely and immediately plunge the cooked beans into the ice bath to halt cooking.
At this point, the beans can be set aside until you’re ready to serve them.
How to make green beans with olive butter:
You trimmed and blanched the beans. You made the olive compound butter. Now let’s put it all together!
- Just before you’re ready to serve, heat a large skillet with a little water in it. Add the blanched beans and toss in the hot water. This heats them back up gently, so the butter can cling to the beans.
- Then add the compound butter and toss the beans as the butter melts and coats the beans. Taste a bean, and adjust the seasoning. Olives can be a little salty, so it’s up to you.
- Finally, transfer the beans to a serving platter and serve immediately.
How to store leftover olives:
Just store them in the refrigerator in a food storage container in their original brine or in a solution of 1 cup of water to 1/2 teaspoon salt. They don’t have to be sealed airtight, just covered loosely with plastic wrap.
Once a can is opened, California Ripe Olives recommends eating the olives within 10 days. So get snacking!
Green Beans with California Ripe Olive Butter Recipe
For the olive butter:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened (1/2 stick)
- 20 California Black Ripe Olives chopped
- 2 shallots chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
For the green beans:
- 2 pounds green beans trimmed (see notes)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the olive butter:
- In a food processor, combine butter, olives, shallot, and garlic. Pulse to combine and set aside.
To make the green beans:
- If using a smaller pot, you may have to blanch the green beans in batches. Set out a large bowl of ice water before blanching the beans.
- In a large saucepan or stock pot, bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil.
- Add the green beans and boil until tender-crisp, but still bright green, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well and immediately plunge into ice water to stop the cooking.
- In a large skillet, add 1/4 cup water over medium heat. Add blanched beans and toss until heated through.
- Add olive butter and toss with the beans until the butter coats the beans (but you don't want it to melt into a puddle). Season to taste with salt and pepper (but remember the olives are already salty). Transfer to a serving platter and serve.