This recipe for Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Prosciutto may just become the star of your meal!
The story behind Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Prosciutto
Oh, the often forgotten vegetable side.
The tasteless, often over-cooked, under-seasoned, blah, just put it on the plate because we need to eat our vegetables.
Green Beans are available year round. In the summer months, when I get them at the Farmer's market I love to make fresh cold salads, such as this easy Green Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, or simply steamed with slivered almonds.
In the winter months, a bit more hearty is the call. Easy Curried Potatoes with Green Beans fits the hearty bill, as does Oven Roasted Green Beans with Prosciutto.
And now, added to the line-up this recipe for Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Prosciutto which is not only easy to make, it's a great addition to any dinner, from simple Oven Roasted Chicken, BBQ steak, or a roast.
Do I have to use prosciutto in this recipe?
No, no you don't. If you don't have Prosciutto you can substitute bacon. When you use bacon, cook it first. You can then use some of the bacon fat along with the oil, or drain the fat completely after cooking. I like to use about one tablespoon of the bacon fat along with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil when I use bacon. Flavortown!
What is blanching and why do it?
This recipe instructs you to blanch the beans before finishing in the skillet.
Blanching keeps the beans pretty and green so they are not the color of an army jeep, which, IMHO, is not pretty.
To blanch the bean, bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add the green beans and simmer until crisp-tender, about 3 or 4 minutes. If you like your vegetables softer, as I do, simmer them a bit longer. I actually find that 7 minutes gives me my perfect bean. Have a bowl of ice water standing by, when the time is up, drain the beans into a colander and then put them immediately into the ice water to cool. This sets the color.
How to Grow Green Beans
Want to grow your own green beans? It's so easy and there's nothing better than going out into your own garden and picking them fresh from the vine. Another added plus is kids are much more inclined to eat something they have grown themselves. Here are a couple of great links to show you how easy it is to accomplish.
Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Prosciutto
- 1 pound fresh green beans cut in half if desired, blanched until crisp-tender, drained and dried
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ to ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 ounce prosciutto thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley I prefer Italian
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. When hot, add the walnut pieces, sauté until browned and fragrant (take care not to burn them). Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel.
- Add the prosciutto to the oil and fry until crisp; remove to the paper towel to drain.
- Add the beans, sauté until hot and just beginning to brown a little. Return the walnuts and prosciutto to the pan; add the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
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