A few years ago, my family started this ridiculous tradition. And by “family”, I mean me.
The old school vs the new school.
Old school: processed food classics like green bean casserole, yams with marshmallows, pies with corn syrup, and stuffing with orowheat soft sandwich bread. Tradition. The definition of Thanksgiving food.
Which is fine.
Except now-a-days I realize that if I ate that stuff for dinner on any night, I’d feel pretty sick. And if I had a choice, I’d rather not.
Thus, the idea for new school versions. And by new school, I actually mean the original old school way. Like before processed food or Campbell’s soup existed. Back to real food. Fresh ingredients. And keeping it simple. Trying to bring out the natural flavor of the food instead of trying to cover it up.
So you get food that is delicious, looks beautiful, and will leave you with the kind of leftovers that you’ll feel great eating for the next 4 days. Instead of the opposite.
So, today. My green bean version (this year). Simple. Easy. Fresh. Real food. And about 15 minutes tops to make.
Green Beans and Mushrooms with Pine Nuts and Pecorino
Makes 6 servings
2 lbs haricot verts/thin green beans
8 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons thyme leaves
sprinkle of pecorino cheese
sprinkle of toasted pinenuts
generous amounts of pepper and a heavy sprinkle of sea salt
Fill a large stock pot with water- almost to the top. Cover and bring to a boil. In a large cast iron skillet, add a bit of butter over high heat. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until all the liquid evaporates and mushrooms start to brown. Add a bit more butter, stir, and add thyme, sea salt and generous amounts of pepper. Continue to cook for 5-10 more minutes until the mushrooms are dark brown on all sides. Set aside.
When water is boiling, add green beans and cover with a lid, cooking for 6-7 minutes or until the beans turn bright green. When ready, quickly drain and rinse with extra cold water to stop the cooking.
Add green beans to the serving dish (making it ovenproof if you will be warming it before serving). Sprinkle with mushrooms and lemon juice. Add pinenuts, cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and extra pepper before serving.