Planning and preparing a big holiday dinner stresses even the most seasoned of cooks. Having a simple side dish in your arsenal of recipes helps keep you sane and your guests happy and well fed. Here is a simple Thanksgiving green beans recipe to accompany your feast. You can even make them ahead.
Thanksgiving Green Beans
French haricot vert (har-ee-ko vare), often called baby green beans, are widely available these days. One of my favorite vegetables, they are slender and more tender than other green bean varieties. You can prepare them a day or two ahead, a great help for the busy holiday cook.
Make Them Ahead of Time
Haricot vert often come ready to cook with ends snapped off in packages, saving you preparation time. Drop the beans into boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then plunge immediately into a big bowl of ice water (called shocking) to halt the cooking process. As soon as the beans are cold, drain on a clean kitchen towel or in a colander, then refrigerate until needed.
While the Turkey Rests
While your turkey is resting, place the green beans in the oven to warm. Depending on the quantity, they will warm pretty quickly in a shallow casserole dish or on a foil covered rimmed baking sheet covered with foil at 350 degrees. Pull them from the fridge about an hour ahead of time to come to room temperature. They will heat more quickly.
Finish Your Thanksgiving Green Beans
To finish the beans, thinly slice a large shallot crosswise into rings (do this in the morning and refrigerate covered until needed). Cook shallot in a little olive oil over medium low heat until they are soft and sweet. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with warmed green beans and sprinkle with chopped toasted pecans. Add bright red pomegranate seeds, like sparkling rubies on your holiday table.
To complete your Thanksgiving side dishes and dessert, click on the recipe links for:
- Mashed potatoes
- Cranberry salad
- Mashed sweet potatoes with rosemary
- Pumpkin mousse
- Pumpkin tart (pie)
Thanksgiving Green Beans
- 12 ounces haricot vert French baby green beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil divided use
- 1 large shallot 3 ounces, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped pecans hazelnuts or pine nuts, toasted
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fill a large mixing bowl 1/3 full of ice. Fill the bowl with cold water and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a full boil.
- When water comes to a boil, add salt (2 teaspoons). Drop beans into the boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove immediately and plunge into the ice water bath. Chill a few minutes, then drain, dry, toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. This can be done 1-2 days ahead.
- Place a medium sauté or fry pan over medium low heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. When oil is warm, add the shallot. Cook the shallots until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Either refrigerate until serving or leave at room temperature, covered, if doing right before dinner.
- If chilled, remove the beans from the refrigerator an hour ahead. About 20 minutes before serving, place the green beans in a large shallow casserole dish and top with the shallots. Cover with foil and place in the oven. When green beans are hot, top with nuts and pomegranate seeds. Serve at once.