Thanksgiving is about side dishes. I like to sex them up. Usually, this means adding one of the following: bacon, walnuts, or pomegranate seeds. And butter. Always that.
My favorite creation thus far, inspired by the window of Williams-Sonoma: green bean bundles bound with bacon and twine. Everyone gets their own pretty little package on the plate.
The Williams Sonoma recipe asks you to sprinkle them with butter and brown sugar. I didn’t do that. It felt a too naughty. Here’s what to do instead, adapted from that recipe:
- 8-10 thick bacon slices
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and blanched in salted water
- sea salt, for finishing
In a large nonstick fry pan over medium heat, cook the bacon in batches until the slices are just beginning to brown along the edges but are still very underdone and pliable, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool, then cut each slice in half crosswise. Drain pan.
You can also cook it in the microwave — my preferred method, just until it’s halfway done.
Divide the green beans into 12-13 equal portions. Gather each portion into a neat bunch and wrap a half slice of bacon around the center to hold the beans together. Tie again with twine to hold it together.
Heat the skillet again and place the bundles on the skillet with the loose ends of the bacon underneath. Turn and brown on each side.
Finish with sea salt.
What are your sexy side discoveries? My friend Jill swears by Tom Colicchio’s parker rolls. Baby, I believe.