Over-eating becomes entirely too easy at this time of year. There's an embarrassment of decadence at ever meal. [My fridge currently has THREE different baked desserts in it, and that's just not okay.]
One way to lighten the heavy handed eating this time of year is through making healthy choices, particularly with all things green. I'm not a big vegetable eater, and I blame that on my early years dealing with "severe-picky-eater syndrome."
Over the years, I've learned to love the green stuff through learning how to cook them properly and with bold flavors. This recipe is one I've perfected, and I can confidently use the word "perfect" because I literally can eat an entire bowl of these green beans [or string beans as they're referred to in New York], and there's something to be said about that feat.
This recipe paired well with my Thanksgiving meal, but it's quick enough to throw together for any weeknight meal.
My best time-saving tip is to have your shallots sliced [or minced] ahead of time and stored in the fridge [you can do this a few days in advance]. Shallots make me cry more than anything else [yes, even more than The Notebook] so I like to prep three or four at a time, and get all my sobbing out at once.
I also like to have a jar of nuts [this recipe uses slivered almonds, but walnuts work well too] toasted ahead of time, since that just saves you a step and again this ingredient can be used in a number of recipes.
I added some crisped, diced bacon at the last minute, because I had forgotten to use it in a soup I had made earlier in the week, and just had it sitting in the fridge. Typically, I don't use bacon, but just a bit makes all the difference.
Sauteed Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds
1/2lb. green beans, trimmed [I used local greens from NC]
1 shallot, thinly sliced [I was using diced shallots in two other dishes this Thanksgiving, so I just prepped them all in a fine dice]
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted [I like using A LOT of almonds, since they turn these beans into a much more filling dish, and help me stave off the third serving of mashed potatoes...]
1TBsp. olive oil [I like to use a good quality one here, since you really taste it]
1TBsp. unsalted butter [you can also omit the butter and double up on olive oil]
3TBsp. diced bacon, crisped [optional]
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the green beans for five minutes. Submerge in an ice water bath for a couple minutes. While you wait for the beans to cool, heat the olive oil and butter on medium heat in a frying pan. Add shallots and cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Drain the beans and dry thoroughly. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the beans, sauteeing for 3-5 minutes. Add the toasted almonds and cooked bacon and toss to combine. Garnish or toss with fresh parsley and serve immediately.