Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Quick and Easy Pantry Cooking Day One: Caramelized Green Beans

Although I enjoy preparing elaborate recipes or ones that require that hard to find yet essential ingredient, I usually cook simple, healthy dishes. This month I will share recipes that are quick and easy to prepare and that use ingredients that most of us have in our pantries (my pantry consists of one cupboard but it sounds better when I call it a pantry) or are easily found at the grocery store. Most of these dishes are very budget friendly as well.

To start the series off..caramelized green beans. I love green beans but I prefer them on the more tender side-not a big fan of the cooked green beans that are still crunchy. This recipe couldn't be easier yet produces a great tasting side dish. I used the Trader Joe's yellow and green bean mix that is already washed and trimmed to make this dish even easier.

Caramelized Green Beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 pounds green beans (ends trimmed)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or almond slivers/slices

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add green beans, cover, stirring occasionally, until green beans are tender and caramelized (partially browned), about 30-40 minutes. While green beans are cooking toast nuts in an un-oiled pan on the stove until lightly browned or on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes. Watch closely since it doesn't take much to go from lightly toasted to burned! After green beans are cooked, toss with nuts. Season with salt and pepper.

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