I’m a firm believer that a lot of people who claim not to like vegetables just haven’t had them prepared in a good way. Well, not necessarily in a good way, since that’s all subjective, but in a way that the is pleasing to that person’s palate. Many people steam their vegetables, and that’s really great if you like them that way because it’s healthy and easy. But me? No way. I am not a steamed veggie kinda gal. I mean sure, steaming some spinach before tossing it with pasta is ok, but just to have a side of steamed peas or something? Nuh uh. I need some flavor, some texture, some…well, fat, usually. My favorite way to prepare vegetables is by roasting. This is just as easy as steaming and the results are amazing. Toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast anything from brussels sprouts to zucchini to green beans to asparagus.
But, every once in a while, I want something a little different and maybe a little more indulgent without being TOO over the top bad for you. These are green veggies, of course—just like I’m not one for steaming, I’m not really one for coating them in cheese sauce, either. As good as that may be. :-)
While I love roasting green beans, I also really enjoy them blanched and then tossed with a little oil or butter, usually some garlic, and occasionally some walnuts or pine nuts. Blanching gets green beans just tender enough while retaining that gorgeous bright green color. You’ll never get that color with frozen or canned green beans. Add a little bacon to blanched green beans and really, what could go wrong?
Green Beans with Shallots/Garlic and Bacon
Serves about 4
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1 lb. green beans, trimmed
2-3 slices bacon, chopped
1 Tbsp. butter
1 shallot, sliced or 2 cloves garlic, minced
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and boil for about 3 minutes after the water has come to a new boil. Place the green beans into a bowl of cold ice water to shock them, or run them under very cold water.
Meanwhile, heat a pot or large saute pan over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until it’s as crispy as you like and then remove with a slotted spoon. If there is more than 1 Tbsp. of bacon fat in the pan, drain it off until 1T remains. Add the butter to the pan.
Cook the shallots or garlic until tender, and then toss in the green beans. Stir just until heated through, and add the bacon back in. Season to taste with salt and pepper.