Green beans are packed full of health benefits; some kind of surprising. One cup of green beans provides about 10 percent of daily folic acid, important for pregnant women. They're also high in vitamins A and C to boost your immune system, and vitamin K for bone health. Oh, and did we mention, our recipe with caramelized brown sugar sauce and toasted pecans is amazingly delicious? Serve them up with any meal--from the simple to the elegant.
- ½ cup pecan halves and pieces (2 ounces), toasted
- 2 lbs fresh or frozen whole green beans (remove tips at vine end if fresh)
- ¼ cup shallots, finely chopped (use more or less depending on your tastes)
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Heat a small skillet to medium high. Add pecans and “toast” 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Be careful not to burn the pecans. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Prepare green beans.
- If frozen, cook according to package directions, however, decrease time by 1 or 2 minutes. You want the green beans to be tender crisp, not well done.
- If green beans are fresh, cook, uncovered, in a large pot of boiling water to which one teaspoon salt has been added. Water should cover the beans. Cook about 6 minutes.
- Whether frozen or fresh, plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water for several minutes to stop the cooking process. Drain and dry on paper towels. At this point you can refrigerate until you are ready to prepare the dish.
- To finish the dish, heat heavy 12 to 14 inch skillet to medium high.
- Add butter. When foam subsides, add shallots and sauté about 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium and stir in sugar until it almost dissolves, then add pecans and sauté about 1 minute.
- Add green beans, salt and pepper and sauté, turning beans with tongs, until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer to serving dish and spoon any melted butter and pecans left in bottom of the skillet over the beans. Serve with a smile.
Makes 11 servings.
Adapted from Epicurious.
Per ¾ cup serving: 116 calories; 7.9g total fat (3g saturated, 1.3g polyunsaturated, 3.2g monounsaturated); 146.4mg sodium; 11.3mg cholesterol; 10.3g carbohydrate; 3.4g fiber; 6.4g sugars; 2.0g protein; 31.6mg potassium.