This side dish comes together really quickly for a great Thanksgiving vegetable. With all of the heavy items on the table: mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes- I like to have a vegetable that is crisp and tender and tastes fresh. These green beans are perfect for that.
Of my five children, only one of them thought that they liked green beans. Until I added bacon. It is amazing what a little bit of bacon will do! Adding some nuts and garlic didn’t hurt anything either. This is the one vegetable I cook where there are NEVER leftovers. They go back for seconds on this dish before anything else on the table. What a change! Whenever they smell bacon cooking around dinner time, the first question out of their mouths is, “Are you making bacon beans?”
I love to use these skinny French green beans, sometimes called filet beans. They are super tender and very flavorful; not at all stringy. They cook very quickly, less than 5 minutes. Be sure not to overcook, or they will be mushy. Both Costco and Sam’s Club carry French beans (different brands, however). I think the one below is from Costco. You can also use regular green beans, but I really love these skinny ones. Bonus: they come with the ends already snapped. No advance prep necessary!
Garlic Green Beans with Bacon and Pine Nuts
1 lb French green beans (or regular beans, snapped)
6-8 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds
scant 1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)
In a skillet, combine beans and about 1/2 cup water. Add a small amount of salt to the water, if desired. Bring to a boil; cover pan and cook beans for 3-5 minutes, or until beans are crisp-tender. Do not overcook. Drain water and place beans in a serving dish.
Cook bacon in the same skillet until almost crisp. Drain excess grease, leaving 1-2 Tbs of drippings. (If you are using precooked bacon, and there are no drippings, add 1-2 Tbs butter to pan). With bacon still in the pan, add pine nuts or almond slices and cook until nuts are lightly toasted (about 2 minutes). Stir in garlic powder, if using.
Add green beans back to the pan and stir to combine and warm beans.
Green beans are one vegetable that everyone at our table will eat. That and broccoli. So I try to change up the presentation every now and again, so that it doesn’t look like we are eating the same vegetable every night. This is a simple to prepare side dish that pleases even my picky eater (she’s the one helping out below!).
Start with enlisting the help of someone to wash and snap your fresh beans (even if she won’t look at you when you are holding a camera).
Wash beans and put into a pan with a small amount of salted water.
Cover and cook until just barely crisp-tender. Drain beans and set aside. In the same pan, melt 1 Tbs butter. Add about 2 Tbs sliced or slivered almonds.
Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle almonds with a small amount of garlic powder. Continue cooking (and stirring) until garlic powder just begins to brown (don’t overcook). Add beans back to the pan and stir to reheat.
Green Beans with Toasted Garlic Almonds
1 lb fresh green beans
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs sliced or slivered almonds
Wash and snap beans. Place in a pot with a small amount (about 3/4 cup) of salted water. Cover and cook until just barely crisp-tender. Drain and set aside.
In the same pan, melt 1 Tbs butter. Add about 2 Tbs sliced or slivered almonds. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle almonds with a small amount of garlic powder. Continue cooking (and stirring) until garlic powder just begins to brown (don’t overcook). Add beans back to the pan and stir to reheat.