Today I will leave you with a very simple side dish. Fresh green beans are briefly cooked with the pecans, the jeweled dried cranberries and some citrus zest.
I am not too fond of bean casseroles, as popular as they might be for a side, esp. during this holiday season. This recipe is just a quick sautee with nice flavors. I love the sesame oil and that is what I have used here. Olive oil works well too, and will result in milder flavors. We loved the plumped sweet and tart cranberries. It was a nice blend of taste – spicy from the pepper flakes which was mellowed with the cranberries. We loved the onions and the crunch of the nuts. Overall it is a very easy to make but a perfect holiday dish!
Green Beans with Pecans and Cranberries
- 1 lb beans, ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon Asian black Sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 small onion, cut into thick wedges
- 1/2 cup pecans, lightly toasted
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries – use the sweetened kind if you want
- 1/2 tablespoon citrus zest, orange or lemon whatever you prefer
- red chili flakes
Add oil to a pan. Add the garlic slices and allow the oil to heat up with the garlic. When the oil is shimmering hot, increase the heat and add the sesame seeds and onion wedges and the beans. Toss them for the oil to coat. Add the salt and the chili flakes. Cook until the beans are cooked through. (if you like them cooked but crisp, you will have to cook them for lesser time).
Once the beans are almost cooked, add the cranberries, toss and cover the pan at low heat for about 3 minutes. The moisture will plump the cranberries. Uncover, increase the heat and add the toasted nuts and the zest. Cook for a minute at high heat while tossing and switch off the heat.
Adjust salt and pepper/red chili flakes.
Server warm as a side or salad.