Gourmet green beans for tonight’s side dish

Gourmet green beans for tonight’s side dish

If you only have 10 minutes until it’s time to eat, and are scrambling to find a side dish that rounds out a full spread dinner, this citrusy and delicious spin on green beans is just what you need. The reason it’s a hit and pairs well with just about any entrée is its nutty, garlicky flavor. You can save extra green beans for use later in the week. They are excellent in soups and chopped salads – even with a little tuna fish. Nicoise salad anyone?

I find that if you don’t do fish –or lean vegetarian – that swapping out the anchovies in this recipe for Kalamata olives works just as well. Anyhow, get ready to transform these babies into something truly special! I bought mine at the farmers market this week. Florida’s grow season is pretty much RIGHT NOW, and we’re the green bean capital of the world. You can always find huge bags of fresh green beans on the cheap at the grocery store too.

Citrus Sautéed Green Beans

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces, about 4 cups

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 anchovy filets, about ½ tin

1 small red onion, peeled and finely diced, about ½ cup

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Zest of 1 medium orange, about 2 teaspoons

Juice of 1 large orange, about 1/3 cup

        

            Steam the green beans until just crisp tender. Do this in a microwave oven or using a steamer on the stovetop. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the anchovies. Stir until the anchovies completely dissolve. If the oil sputters reduce the heat to low. The anchovies will dissolve quickly. Add the onion to the pan. Turn the heat up to medium high. Cook until the onion are soft and just beginning to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the green beans to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Add the orange zest and orange juice. Cook until the liquid begins to disappear. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover the beans to keep warm until ready to serve. Reserve extra beans to use later on.

 

 

Turkey Day Planning

Turkey Day Planning

We all know it starts with the bird. But, how are you cooking your bird this year? Are you shooting him up with butter and seasonings, are you bathing him in an overnight brine? Are you getting him ready for the fryer? Or, if you are like me, are you rubbing him down, inside and out, with fresh herbs and olive oil and stuffing him with oranges and apples? Whichever way you plan to cook him, the bird goes on your menu plan as the shining star of the meal.

I have traditional appetizers that I have made for years, and that my mother and grandmothers made before me. I make a salmon mousse spread, and a garlic and sherry infused chopped liver pate. I think two appetizers are great, one that is lighter and one that is rich. Think crudité and bruschetta, cheese board and roasted veggies, savory onion dip, and blue cheese stuffed endive leaves. It’s about balance here. Appys are the lead up to the big event.

And then there are the desserts. Pumpkin pie, of course. We also include chocolate pecan pie, and good old-fasioned chocolate cream pie. All served with a heaping ladleful of bourbon and vanilla laced whipped cream.

Every year it’s the sides that get my imagination going. Here’s where I change it up a bit (much to the chagrin of the family). And, every once in a while I hit a home run! There are the standards: whipped potatoes and dressing. The accompaniments are as endless as your Thanksgiving Day waistband.
In place of a sweet potato dish, this year I’m making a savory carrot pudding served with creamed onions and peas. (You see, three vegies in one!). I’m also serving fresh green beans sautéed in olive oil, with thin slices of garlic and julienne sundried tomatoes (The recipe is below). I’m also considering creamed spinach and saucy succotash. It’s a dilemma. A good one! Here’s my recipe for changed up green beans.

Green Beans
With Sliced Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Serves 6 to 8
20 Minute Cuisine

Here is a really simple recipe that you can make in minutes, and is as perfect for a weekday meal as it is when company comes a callin’. You can make everything in advance, and then reheat just before serving. The best part is that leftovers are delicious in a pasta salad for tomorrow’s lunch!

1 (4-ounce jar) julienned sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1 whole head of garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces, about 4 cups
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

Place the sundried tomatoes into a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic is soft and golden, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Blanch or steam the green beans until crisp-tender. I use the vegetable setting on my microwave for this. I place the green beans in a bowl with a little bit of water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place into the oven. The green beans are usually crisp-tender in about 4 minutes. Drain the water from the bowl.

Place the green beans into the skillet and toss with the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Cook’s Tip

You can find those fancy, skinny green beans in the grocery store, already cleaned and bagged. These are delicious in this recipe. The only change to make is that you do not have to blanch them first. To make this an even heartier side dish, add baby new potatoes, halved and blanched until they are tender. Green bean, tomatoes and potatoes all in one dish…. Well that’s good!