Pancetta-lovers take note: If you are looking for my green beans with pancetta recipe, it is loosely based on this one so go 'head and read through it. I explain it all at the end of the post.
Sauteed green beans are one of my favorite things to make for Thanksgiving dinner, but this side dish has an unusual twist: persimmons. I love the color contrast between the bright green beans and the deep orange persimmon.
SAUTEED GREEN BEANS WITH PERSIMMONS AND HAZELNUTS
Prepare and ice water bath (lots of very cold water with ice) in a large bowl while the beans are cooking.
Inspired by a Gourmet magazine recipe from November 1994. (I still have it.)
- 2 pounds of green beans (blue lake or "haricots verts" variety), washed, trimmed, and cut into 2-inch diagonal pieces
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 Fuyu persimmons, ends trimmed, halved, and sliced thinly
- olive oil (or browned butter if you want a richer dish)
- salt and pepper
- a handful of toasted hazelnuts (or walnuts), slightly smashed, reserve some for garnish
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook for about 3 minutes, until very al dente. Immediately drain and plunge beans into an ice water bath to stop cooking. When cool, drain beans and pat dry.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, saute shallots in olive oil over medium heat until they turn golden and transluscent. Add the persimmons and continue cooking until persimmons are softened but not falling apart. Taste for salt. Add green beans, stiring lightly, and cook until beans are warmed through, about 5-7 minutes. Add most of the hazelnuts and toss. Cook about a minute more. Adjust seasonings. Transfer to serving dish, top with a sprinkling of hazelnuts. Serve at once. Serves 8.
PANCETTA NOTES: If you are making this with pancetta, simply omit the persimmon and replace with about 4 ounces of diced pancetta. Saute the pancetta with the shallots until the shallots are translucent and just starting to carmelize. Then toss with the cooked green beans.
[photo credit for beautiful photo of persimmon: In Praise of Sardines]