Make Ahead Green Beans

Well, tomorrow the food prep begins in earnest. We’ve been assembling ingredients for weeks. When you want to have a locally based Thanksgiving, you really have to plan ahead to be sure that you have (or preserve) the things that you want on your table. We’ve got things stored in the root cellar (ok, the garage, affectionately renamed), the freezer, and in jars. Tomorrow, we’ll reunite them all in one big meal planning session.

There is one way that I’m sadly cheating on my local producers this holiday, though. Green beans. I’ll be buying a few pounds at Pike Place tomorrow. I just can’t figure out a way to preserve them well, and I really must have them.  Green beans are such a treat in November.

This recipe is great because you can make it ahead, then finish it off in the last minute. It comes from a Cook’s Illustrated article (Nov./Dec. 2001) which also includes a fantastic recipe for a shallot and vermouth topping.

Make Ahead Green Beans with Hazelnuts

1 pound green beans, washed and ends snapped
4. tbls. butter
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
salt, pepper

  1. Blanch the green beans. Bring a pot of water to boil, add green beans, and cook for about 3 minutes. (Beans should be bright green.)
  2. Drain the beans and plunge them immediately into ice water. When thoroughly cool, pat dry with a towel. At this point, beans can be held in the refrigerator, sealed, for up to 3 days.
  3. When ready to dine, heat a saucepan (that is large enough to hold your beans) over medium. Toast your hazelnuts for about 4 minutes, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the butter to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes or until it becomes brown and fragrant. Add back in the hazelnuts.
  5. At the same time, in another pan, heat 1/4 cup water and beans. Use tongs and toss for about 2 minutes, until they are warmed through. Remove to pan with toppings.
  6. Toss all together and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

What else will be on our table?

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