It’s the Fourth of July weekend and tonight we’re headed to the Charter Amphitheater in Greenville to watch the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, cannon firings, and fireworks! You can bring a picnic to the event and I’ve been on a green bean kick lately so I made some green beans with pecans and a bacon vinaigrette. I am serving it cold and it has dressing so you could even call it Green Bean Salad with Pecans and Bacon Vinaigrette Dressing.
The only real prep work you need to do for this is to snap the ends of the beans where the stems are off. We used to do this while watching movies when we got a lot out of the garden when I was a kid – it’s a bit tedious but necessary. You can use a knife or scissors if you want but I don’t think it goes any faster.
- 2 lb Fresh Green Beans, Trimmed
- 1 Cup Pecan Halves
- 1 Slice Thick-Cut Bacon, Cooked and Crumbled
- 2 Tbs Bacon Drippings
- ¾ Cup Olive Oil
- ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 4 tsp Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on high heat
- When the water is boiling, add the trimmed green beans, return to a boil and cook for 4 – 5 minutes. The beans should be bright green, still have some firmness to them, and not be mushy or limp.
- Drain the beans in a strainer, rinsing under cold running water to stop the cooking.
- Spread the beans on a towel to dry
- Toast the pecans in a dry pan over medium heat for about 4 – 5 minutes (I do this at the same time I’m cooking the beans). Make sure you keep them moving by tossing them every 30 seconds or they will burn. They’re done when they smell nutty and no longer taste raw.
- Remove pecans from the heat and coarsely chop.
- Combine crumbled bacon, bacon drippings, olive oil, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, salt and pepper in a mason jar and shake vigorously to combine into an emulsion.
- Toss the beans, pecans and dressing together in a large bowl and serve. If the dressing separates before you’re ready to put the salad together, give it another shake!
If you’re serving this immediately, you can toss everything together in a big bowl and put it on the table. If you’re not serving it immediately, separate the beans, pecans and dressing and put them all together right before serving. This is a great make-ahead dish that will last for a couple of days in the refrigerator, making it perfect for picnics, potlucks, and parties!
Green beans freeze really well and will last for a long time in the freezer. If you find a good sale on beans during the summer, it’s definitely worth buying extra and putting them up for the winter months.
- After draining, shocking (getting them cold to stop the cooking) and drying on a paper towel, put the beans on a sheet pan in a single layer and place in the freezer.
- Once they’ve frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag and label with the frozen date. They should keep for 6+ months.
- To make this salad, thaw the beans in the refrigerator and toss with the dressing and pecans. You can also use the frozen beans in your favorite recipes straight out of the freezer.
The pecans will also last for 6+ months in the freezer. Wrap them really well in a freezer bag or vacuum seal them and toss them in the freezer as is!
The dressing won’t freeze well, but that’s ok because it’s quick and easy to make.
The countries of India, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Nepal, the United States, Bangladesh, and China are the world’s top producers of beans.