Loaded Skillet Toasted Green Beans.
Let’s talk about the most unboring boring green beans.
Because they may look sort of boring, but they are anything but. This little bowl is bursting with flavor in the most cliché sense of the expression. It’s full of EVERYTHING I love.
BY THE WAY.
It is basically a miracle that I’m still discussing Thanksgiving and haven’t moved on to Christmas yet – like we haven’t even put the tree up in real life. It’s usually up by now but since it tastes me approximately 37 hours longer to do everything in the world at the moment, it hasn’t happened. I really can’t even fathom it. I envision throwing myself on the couch and telling just exactly Eddie where the ornaments should go while eating ice pops because that sounds sane. ??
I only say this because I seriously wonder HOW I moved so quickly before I had this giant bowling ball in my stomach. And I don’t learn at all, because everyday I still make a normal to-do list and manage to do everything then like only half or three-fourths get done and I’m all HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE I DIDN’T STOP MOVING ALL DAY WHY AM I WORKING AT A SNAIL’S PACE.
So as it turns out, I’m right on time with the seasons! Maybe I should be pregnant like this every Fall??
Over the last two weeks I’ve rambled on and on about how Thanksgiving here HAS to taste traditional and “normal” and like childhood. You know? I find that there are only a few places one can stray from the normality safely, and if you’re not a green bean casserole type (my dad says mushrooms are a fungus, not a food…) this is where you can find safe haven.
These little green noodle-like beans are toasted in a skillet, in bacon grease no less. And they include:
caramelized shallots (I’m apparently really into these right now)
toasted almonds (honey toasted from trader joe’s are the way to go)
garlic brown butter breadcrumbs (life)
crushed red pepper flakes (heat!)
AND feta cheese.
The feta is a must. It adds a refreshing and tangy pop to these sweet and savory beans which have just the teeeeeniest bit of fire.
And obviously, they are super simple and so necessary for every other dinner day besides Thanksgiving. Like maybe tonight?
No seriously. What are you eating for dinner tonight? Do you even eat regular dinners during the week of a crazy holiday that necessitates so much prep work? I’d be cool with a bowl of cereal or thirty slices of cheese, but let’s be honest: Eddie would die without real dinner so if you’re in the same boat, these should probably be your dinner.
In fact, they alone can be your dinner. They totally work with a fork right from the skillet. Don’t ask.
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 2 pounds fresh green beans
- 1/3 cup toasted almonds
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
- 1/3 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the bacon and shallots. Cook until the bacon is crispy and the shallots begin to brown, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes minutes. Remove the mixture from the skillet and place it in a bowl while you cook the green beans.
Add the green beans to the skillet. If there isn’t any bacon fat left, you can use butter or olive oil (about a tablespoon) to toast the beans. I find that the beans are seasoned enough with the bacon flavor and feta, but you can add some salt and pepper here if you like. Cook the beans over medium heat, stirring and tossing occasionally, until they are bright in color and cooked – but still slightly crunchy – about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the shallots and bacon back into the skillet and toss. Toss in the toasted almonds and feta.
Sprinkle with the garlic brown butter bread crumbs and serve immediately.
Add butter to a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly while it bubbles. The minute brown bits begin to form on the bottom of the pan, remove from heat and whisk for an additional 30 seconds. (for more step by step photos of browning butter, click here) Let butter stand for 2 minutes, then add in minced garlic and whisk. Add in panko and pepper flakes and stir well to coat and combine. Set aside.