Simple side dishes are a Southern cook's best friend, from hearty root vegetables roasted in the oven to tender greens tossed in a stovetop skillet. Southerners are fortunate for our bountiful fall harvests and our summertime farmer’s markets that are overflowing with the freshest picks. Each season brings its own definitive tastes, vibrant flavors, and captivating colors. Instagram-worthy photos–no filters required. In the springtime, the South comes alive with strawberries, Vidalia onions, sweet peas, and asparagus. The colder seasons deliver potatoes, squash, and hearty greens that round out and warm up mealtime. The sweet, sweet summertime spoils our palates with okra, tomatoes, corn, watermelon, bushels of all kinds of berries, and green beans. While you can now find nearly every type of produce year-round in supermarkets, we honor those fresh, in-season vegetables that bring back memories of our past. And if you grew up in the South, you’re sure to have memories of sitting on grandmother’s porch stringing and snapping crisp string beans. But, Southerners may have even fonder memories of the flavor in green breans with bacon. This recipe is one of our favorite family-friendly classics with that familar flavorful twist–bacon. This side, which serves four to six, requires sauteeing over one pound of green beans with bacon, chopped green onions, salt, and pepper.
1 3/4 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup water
8 bacon slices, chopped
5 green onions (white bottoms and light green parts of tops only), chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
How to Make It
Place beans and 1/4 cup water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and pierce plastic wrap with a fork. Microwave at HIGH 4 to 7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Plunge green beans into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain well, and set aside.
Cook chopped bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in a small bowl. Discard remaining drippings. Wipe skillet clean with a paper towel.
Sauté green onions in skillet in hot reserved drippings over medium-high heat 1 minute. Stir in green beans, salt, and pepper; sauté 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in bacon.
Kitchen Express: Substitute 2 (12-ounce) packages ready-to-eat trimmed fresh green beans for the fresh green beans, omitting water. Pierce bags with a fork and microwave at HIGH 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Proceed with recipe as directed.