Green beans are not a favorite vegetable of mine but lately I’ve been experimenting with them a bit more. My desire to cook with them more started after a good friend of mine made one of the best green bean dishes I have EVER had in my life for Thanksgiving. The green beans were sauteed in a buttery, garlic wine sauce and topped with crunchy slivered almonds. I begged her for the recipe and, thankfully, she decided to share it with me. I will share that recipe here, however, I had a HUGE bunch of green beans to cook up so I decided to cook half of them using my friend’s recipe, and half of them another way.
I’ve mentioned, many times before, how much I believe in roasting food, especially vegetables. Roasting does something amazing to the vegetables and they carmelize beautifully, and green beans are no exception. After roasting them, what could make these green beans better? The answer is BACON! Duh! Bacon makes everything better, but I wanted to make the green beans even more rich and flavorful, which is why I made a blue cheese butter to top the beans with.
I’m happy to say, both dishes turned out well.
Green Bean Dish # 1: Christa’s green beans sauteed in butter, wine and garlic
3-4 tbsp of butter
Dorot brand frozen garlic – this step is important. I tried using it with fresh garlic and it was still pretty good, but not AS good as the dorot version. You can find Dorot frozen garlic and herbs at Trader Joe’s, but check your local grocery store for it as well.
one bunch of green beans trimmed and washed
1/4 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1. Start by heating the butter in a skillet over low/medium heat. Next, add in the garlic. Dorot garlic comes crushed, frozen and measured out in little teaspoon cups. You want to use about 15 of the frozen cups. I know it sounds like a lot, but trust me it’s worth it. Scoop out about 15 of the frozen cups and sautee the garlic in the butter for 5-10 minutes over low heat. Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
2. Next, add in the green beans. Turn the heat up to medium and stir the green beans in the sauce to coat them and let them cook for about 8 minutes. You want the beans to be cooked, but still crisp. Add in the wine about halfway through, or when the bean/sauce mixture starts to look a little dry. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Turn off the heat and top the beans with slivered almonds. Do this when the beans and sauce are still hot so the almonds get warmed through. If you don’t like almonds, toasted pine nuts would be a good substitute.
Voila! So simple, yet full of flavor. Be sure to test for seasoning as you go along.
Green Bean Recipe #2: Roasted haricot vert with crispy bacon and blue cheese butter
1 bunch of green beans trimmed and washed
salt and pepper
5 slices of good quality bacon
Ingredients for the butter:
1 stick of room temperature butter (I used salted butter)
2 tablespoons of softened Gorgonzola cheese (or any blue cheese you prefer)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon of green onions finely minced (you could also use chives or a red onion finely minced)
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet and drizzle the green beans with olive oil, salt and pepper (enough to coat each green bean). Spread the beans out in one even layer. Once the oven is preheated, roast the green beans for 20 minutes or until they have some good color and start to carmelize.
2. While the green beans roast, crisp the bacon in a skillet over medium heat, crumble and set aside.
3. For the butter: In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream together the room temperature butter, blue cheese, lemon juice and onion until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Scoop into a container and set to the side.
4. When the green beans are done transfer them to a bowl and add in the crumbled bacon. Top the green beans and bacon with a dollop of the blue cheese butter mixture and let it melt over the beans.
Green bean dish #2 done! Be sure to refrigerate the blue cheese butter when you are done.