Ingredient SpotLight

When Thanksgiving arrives, it's time to think about more than turkey. Side dishes can play as important a role as the bird in this holiday steeped in tradition. And when it comes to side dishes, few have the draw that green beans do. While most people assume that a green bean casserole consisting of creamy soup and French fried onions must make an appearance at Thanksgiving dinner, it is not a requirement by a long shot.

In the spirit of mixing things up, this month’s focus on green beans comes complete with a couple recipes that will fit beautifully into any Thanksgiving menu. One takes nearly two hours to complete – but is an old fashioned delight. The other is a lighter, more modern take on green beans that can make it to the table in minutes. Choose something that fits your style and menu and enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!

Old-Fashioned Green Beans with Bacon

  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, broken
  • 1/2 red pepper pod
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Bring bacon to boil in a large pot of water. Cover and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Wash beans well and drain. Put into pot with bacon. Add red pepper and salt. Cook, uncovered, for at least 25 minutes or until beans are tender and the juice has cooked down.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: About 2 hours

Steamed Green Beans with Lemony Yogurt Vinaigrette

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, leave whole
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, cut into julienne strips
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chives or green onion with green top, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon each, salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or safflower oil

Wash green beans and remove the stem end only, leave whole. Steam or blanch green beans for 3 minutes. Toss with julienne red pepper.

Make vinaigrette in a small bowl by combining parsley, lemon juice, yogurt, and chives. Set bowl on a wet towel to avoid slippage. Add oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly until vinaigrette is blended. Chill.

Toss green beans and red peppers with enough vinaigrette to coat vegetables, about 1/3 cup. Serve warm. Leftover vinaigrette can be used as a salad dressing. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

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