I gave up the green bean casserole years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up eating that famous casserole and looked forward to it every Thanksgiving. My favorite part was the crunchy onions, and in my family everyone would try to get as many of them on our plates as possible.
But change happens, life throws curve balls, and sometimes things that we used to adore lose their luster. I am not the girl I was in my twenties. I lost my taste for rich, creamy sauces several years ago, and found that I prefer tasting the beans and fresh flavors. I adore the slow cooked Southern green beans of my childhood, but now I like my green beans a little al dente with crunchy nuts and flavorful mix ins.
This green beans recipe from the October issue of Cooking Light will make a fantastic addition to our Thanksgiving dinner this year. All of us enjoy the spicy-sweet pecans, and I also like the simplicity of the dish. Having a couple fast side dishes on the menu makes Thanksgiving a little less hectic, and these beans are perfect for that. Make the pecans a few days ahead, then whip up the beans right before dinner time. Tasty and ready in a flash.
And for a fun treat, make a bigger batch of the pecans and set out the extras in small bowls for football game nibbling. My guys can’t keep their hands out of them.
Sautéed Green Beans with Spice-Glazed Pecans
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pounds whole green beans (trimmed)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
- Bring the brown sugar, water, cumin, and red pepper to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the pecans, rosemary, and salt. Spread the pecan mixture in an even layer on the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool in pan, and break into small pieces if necessary.
- Place the green beans in a large saucepan of boiling water and cook for just 4 minutes, until the beans turn bright. Drain and plunge green beans into ice water and drain.
- Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beans, and sauté 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Season with the salt and black pepper. Place the beans on a serving platter, and sprinkle with the pecan mixture. Serve immediately.
- small saucepan
- baking sheet lined with parchment
- large pot with lid
- large nonstick skillet
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