We were searching around for a recipe for those yard-long green beans we picked up yesterday and this one, in particular, stood out. It was just different from the blue-jillion, cook the beans with garlic/ginger, recipes that you’ll find on the Internet. And, after having tested it here in the SITK (Scratchin’ It Test Kitchen), we knew we should write it up for you to try in your test kitchen.
To be fair, you could read the original version on Epicurious, which will have professional, slick photographs, or you can read a scaled-down-for-two version with photos of the green beans that we had for dinner right below. Either way, you’ll have the same recipe.
Don’t have any pecans on hand? Use another nut, perhaps walnuts, or even almonds. Just make sure they’re chopped. You might think that the brown sugar will make these beans too sweet. Just trust us and try it before you decide. Oh, and we use fresh green beans — it might work with frozen, but, if we were to try it, we’d go for the small green beans known as haricot verts.
Procedure in detail:
Blanch and shock. The beans won’t be in the glaze long enough to ensure that they’re cooked through, so you’ll have to cook them a bit beforehand. If you’re making this with frozen beans, they’ll already have been blanched, but they need to be thawed, so you’ll probably want to do this, anyway. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, add the salt and green beans and boil for about 3 minutes — long enough that they turn bright green and are tender. Of course, taste one. Drain in a colander and immediately run cold water over the beans until they’re cool. The boiling was the blanch, this is the shock, which stops cooking and locks in that bright green color. Let the beans drain completely.
Toast nuts. Place the pecans in a medium skillet over medium heat and toast until golden and fragrant, about 8 minutes. The toasting will bring out more nutty flavor, but don’t toast too long, or you’ll get burnt-nut flavor, which most people don’t think tastes all that great. Once toasted, remove the nuts from the pan and let cool.
Cook onion. in the same skillet (or another, if you wish) over medium heat, melt the butter. When melted, add the onions and cook until they’re tender, about 5 minutes.
Make glaze. Add the brown sugar and stir until it melts and mixes in. Continue cooking until it’s bubbling and looks delicious; about 1-2 minutes should do it.
Add beans and nuts. Stir in the beans and nuts, tossing to coat. Continue cooking on medium heat, stirring often until everything’s heated through and coated with brown sugar glaze.
Serve. Sprinkle with salt and pepper — the larger grains of kosher salt will give you nice little bursts of saltiness — and serve immediately.
Wonderful. We can’t imagine why we haven’t had beans like this before now. A super easy recipe that will delight everyone and match any dinner from simple to elegant as a perfect side. We’re going to be keeping this recipe around as we head into the holiday season. Five sweet stars!