Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sautéed Green Beans with Mushrooms

I love me some green beans, but often times they're just so plain and boring. This recipe however, is neither of those things! It's so easy, and with just a few ingredients, you can make this side any night of the week. Jessica brought up a good point. In her review she said she used canned green beans. I never recommend using canned veggies. They are normally cooked to death which means they loose a lot of their nutrients, and then they're preserved with lots of salt. They don't hold up well when cooking them any other way but in the microwave or in a pot of water. If you can find fresh, use frozen! Frozen veggies are flash froze during their season, retaining their vivid colors and nutrients and are much better suited for a dish like this.

1 lb fresh green beans, stems trimmed (can use frozen)
½ lb button mushrooms, sliced
¼ lb pancetta or bacon
1 tbs veg oil if using pancetta
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Blanche the green beans for about 4-5 minutes. You want them to keep their nice green color but soften up just a bit. Remove them and immediately dunk them into ice water to stop the cooking.
Meanwhile, dice the pancetta and sauté in the tbs of oil until crisp. Remove to paper toweling. Add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté with the garlic until the mushrooms are soft and browned. Add in the green beans and cook for a few minutes so that they’re heated through and pick up the flavor of the garlic. Sprinkle with the pancetta and serve.  

What I Liked:
This recipe is very simple and I have most of the ingredients on hand on any given day of the week.  When I first made this dish, I was making two other time consuming dishes at the same time. It was nice to be able to leave this one till the last minute (quite literally!) and not worry about whether or not it would be complete.  To make it all that much better, the recipe was PERFECT!  I love all of these salty flavors with any vegetable, but I particularly favor green beans, so it was perfect for my taste buds.  I also have this memorized and I'm excited that I won't have to "follow" the recipe each time, just whip it together!
What I Didn't Like:
I always prefer to use fresh vegetables.  After all, who wouldn't prefer fresh veggies over canned?  However, I typically use canned vegetables any way.  I usually never plan ahead enough to have fresh veggies on hand for any meal.  So, in lieu of fresh green beans, I used canned French-Style Green Beans and kept the rest the same.

Loni (working mom and wife):

Oh my gosh, the green beans were so good.  I loved the idea of boiling them for a quick second and then blanching them because that way they get cooked all the way through but are not soggy.  I could not find pancetta in my store but I used bacon and it was great, it really added a lot of flavor to the green beans.  

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