Thanksgiving looms. Like you, I’ve been fine-tuning my menu which will be a collaborative effort between my family members. We split up the duties and everyone pitches in — I like that because one person isn’t stuck with ALL THE WORK. Still, there’s a lot to do. This year, I’m in charge of stuffing, green beans, corn pudding and rolls.
As far as green beans go, I know that those casseroles with the condensed milk and canned onion rings will make an appearance on many people’s tables this Thanksgiving, but — believe it or not — they’ve never landed on ours. Instead, our family vacillates between a topping of either caramelized onions (always a hit) or simply dressed with a light touch of lemon, butter and garlic (the standard). This year, I wanted to try something else — something holiday-ish – but not that ubiquitous casserole.
This is it! Crisp tender green beans tossed with mushrooms, shallots and crispy pancetta. It’s quick, simple and delicious. And you can make it in advance and toss it together at the last minute. Seriously. My kind of Thanksgiving prep!
This delicious pairing of crisp-tender beans, sautéed mushrooms and shallots with salty, crisp pancetta and a punch of fresh herbs is perfect for your holiday table. It’s full of great flavors and textures without being heavy, so you can have your veggies and still have room for pecan pie! Bonus!
- 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- 8 ounces sliced white mushrooms
- 6 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- squeeze of lemon juice
- Create an ice bath by filling a large bowl half way with ice cubes and water. Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the green beans. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until crisp tender and using a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to the ice bath to shock them and to set the color. When the beans are cold, transfer to paper towels to dry them off. (If you're prepping them in advance, bundle the beans up in the paper towels and store them in a zip top bag in the fridge.)
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they've given off most of their liquid and start to brown. Transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl.
- Add the pancetta to the pan and stir until it begins to crisp and becomes fragrant (3-4 minutes). Add the shallots and continue to cook until the shallots start to wilt and become translucent. Stir in the fresh thyme and add the mushrooms (but not their liquid) back to the pan and stir to combine. (If you're prepping in advance, transfer the shallot mixture to a storage container and refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
- Over medium heat, add the green beans to the shallot mixture, toss to combine and cover with a lid for 2-3 minutes until completely heated through. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.