Friday, April 16, 2010


It will surprise exactly no one that the combination of green beans and bacon turns out to be excellent. I tore this recipe out of the November issue of Cooking Light and by now it’s racked up a perfect five-star rating on the Web site. It was intended as a Thanksgiving recipe, but I see no need to wait for a special occasion; this is a great way to jazz up an ordinary weeknight meal (we had it with zucchini fritters). The flavors go together beautifully: Like my favorite salad, it has green beans and walnuts and a walnut oil/white-wine-vinegar dressing; like these two also-tasty recent discoveries, it uses bacon grease to excellent effect; and like so many of my most reliable side dishes, it involves shallots. What’s not to love? A and I both devoured it happily, and it’s definitely going into our regular rotation.

Other than halving the quantities (it originally served 8), using plain ol' farmers' market green beans instead of haricots verts, and swapping in white wine vinegar for the champagne vinegar, which I never have on hand, I followed the recipe as written. I do recommend walnut oil (I’ve become a convert), but olive oil will do just fine if you don’t want to make the investment.

1 pound green beans, trimmed
2 slices bacon, chopped
⅓ cup thinly sliced shallots (about 1 medium)
2 teaspoons walnut oil
1 teaspoon champagne or white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Cook beans in boiling salted water for 7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.

2. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon. Add shallots to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender. Combine shallots and bacon in a large bowl. Add beans to pan; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Add beans, oil, vinegar, and salt to bacon mixture; toss to combine. Sprinkle with walnuts and parsley.

Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: Meh; they were perfectly edible the next day, but not nearly as good.

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