Green Beans Three Ways: Green Bean Bundles with Bacon & Brown Sugar; Green Beans with Pancetta, Shallots & Pecans; and Green Beans with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette & Parmesan Panko Crumbs

Going Green … Beans

Green Beans Three Ways:
Green Bean Bundles with Bacon & Brown Sugar; Green Beans with Pancetta, Shallots & Pecans; and Green Beans with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette & Parmesan Panko Crumbs

I love green beans!  They always make an appearance at our house, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  These recipes get extra bonus points for being able to be made ahead of time freeing up space in your kitchen and for excelling as left-overs.

Here are a couple of other make-ahead recipes that are traditional Thanksgiving recipes at our house:  Tom’s Mom’s Sour Cream and Creamed Cheese Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry  Pineapple Jell-O Mousse and don’t forget the Pumpkin Pie Spice Vanilla Vodka Martini to get you through the day!


This year we are going out to dinner as Tom had knee replacement surgery a few weeks before Thanksgiving, but I will be making the Green Bean Bacon Bundles just for myself … for breakfast!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Green Bean Bundles with Bacon & Brown Sugar

A few years ago, a friend, Jeilene, brought Green Bean Bundles with Bacon and Brown Sugar to Thanksgiving and my life was CHANGED.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these bundles and keep any leftovers for myself to eat for breakfast the next day.  Tom doesn’t dare try to sneak a few of these delicious morsels as he may lose a finger.

Jeilene has three young children and came up with ways to speed this recipe along.  She uses drained canned green beans (she recommends Del Monte Whole Beans), and regular, not thick cut, bacon.  She skips the frying of the bacon completely and bakes them 40 minutes at 350°F to start and then tightly covers the baking sheet with foil to transport to our house where she finishes them at 400°F until the bacon is crispy and caramelized.  YUM!

Ingredients:

8 bacon slices (regular, not thick cut, cut in half length-wise)
6 T. (3/4 stick) (3 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 t. kosher salt
3/4 t. garlic powder
2 cans (14.5 oz. size) whole green beans, drained
1/4 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment.

In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, salt and garlic powder.

Divide the green beans into 16 equal portions, about 6 beans each (use the longest beans, you will have some leftover). Gather each portion into a neat bunch and wrap a half slice of bacon around the center to hold the beans together. Place the bundles on the prepared baking sheet with the loose ends of the bacon underneath. Lightly press the brown sugar evenly over the bundles and drizzle with the butter mixture.

Bake 40 minutes at 350°F, then crank the oven up to 400°F to finish so the bacon will be cooked through (10-15 minutes).  Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately (or for breakfast the next day!).


Serves 8.

Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Green Beans with Pancetta, Shallots and Pecans

My go-to favorite frozen green beans are Trader Joe’s French Green Beans.  For this recipe, I usually make the pancetta, shallot, pecan crumble earlier in the day and set aside at room temperature until I cook the green beans just before serving.  Reheat the crumble over low heat and add the beans until heated through.  Finish with crumbled blue cheese for serving.  It really doesn’t NEED the blue cheese, but if you like blue cheese, go for it!


Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. fresh (trimmed) or frozen green beans
4 oz. diced pancetta
½ c. shallots, chopped (big shallot like the one in the photo)
3 T. pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/3 c. good quality balsamic vinegar
2 T. sugar
Crumbled blue cheese (optional)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
 
Directions:

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the pancetta until crispy.  Transfer to paper towel to drain.

Add the shallots to the pan drippings and sauté until softened and translucent (about 2 minutes).  Add the pecans and sauté for 1 minute.  Return the pancetta to the pan.  Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar and sugar until dissolved.  This can be made up to four hours ahead of time, just cover and set aside at room temperature.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the green beans in the boiling water until just tender; drain well.

If your pancetta mixture was made earlier in the day, reheat over low heat.  Add the cooked green beans to the pancetta mixture and stir to coat the beans.  Season to taste with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Transfer to serving plate and sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese (optional) to serve.


8 servings.

Green Beans with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette and Parmesan Panko Crumbs
 
We are fortunate to have a terrific Meyer lemon tree that hangs over the fence into our yard and produces sweet, delicious lemons nearly year round (and a neighbor who doesn’t mind sharing!).  A regular lemon would work but the flavor will not be quite the same.

You can make both the lemon vinaigrette and the parmesan Panko crumbs the day before (refrigerate in an air tight container).  In a pinch, blanch the green beans and then reheat just before serving.  This recipe is from Fine Cooking, one of my favorite food magazines.


Ingredients:

1/2 c. Panko breadcrumbs
½ c. plus 2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
2 Meyer lemons, zested and then squeezed, reserving the juice (you will need ¼ cup)
1/4 c. fresh Meyer lemon juice from the squeezed lemons
1/4 c. heavy cream
1 1/2 lbs. fresh (trimmed) or frozen green beans
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

Make the vinaigrette.  In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice, cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup oil.  (Refrigerate in an air tight container until ready to use.)

In a small bowl, toss the breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.  In a medium skillet over medium heat, sauté until golden brown about 3-4 minutes.  Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.  Let cool and then transfer back to the bowl and mix in the cheese.  (Refrigerate in an air tight container until ready to use.)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the green beans in the boiling water until just tender; drain well.

Toss the beans with the vinaigrette.  Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Transfer the beans to a serving platter and sprinkle with the toasted panko breadcrumb and cheese mixture.

8 servings.

Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking

 

 

 

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