Green beans are pretty standard fare, and almost everyone has their own version of a green bean dish for the holidays. Growing up, we always had traditional Green Bean Casserole with any turkey dinner, but in my older years I've really come to shy away from that gloppy dish and the usual canned ingredients that go into it. There are versions of whole food Green Bean Casserole out there, I just haven't had the interest to try them; I like green beans in their more pure form.
And of course, while I usually make them at Thanksgiving and Christmas, they by no means have to be served only at the holidays. I mean, green beans. Why not jazz them up for any time of year?
Garlicky Green Beans with Almonds and Cranberries
Serves 6-10 as a side dish
2 pounds frozen whole green beans (i.e., two 16-oz. bags)
2 tsp. sea salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup raw sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries*
Salt & pepper to taste
In a large pot, place green beans, sea salt and a few tablespoons of water. Steam over medium heat until beans are tender yet still crisp. Drain and set aside. Do not overcook!
Meanwhile, heat a saucepan over medium low heat. Add oil and garlic, and cook just until fragrant (do not brown garlic). Add the almonds, and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes until the almonds are slightly toasted. Add the cooked green beans and toss to coat.
Finally, take off the heat and stir in the cranberries. Taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper to taste.
*Note: unsweetened cranberries can be tricky to find, but are so much better and healthier than sweetened versions like Craisins. I find mine in the raw nuts section of the grocery store, but you can also buy them online.