These green beans are my all time, most favorite side dish…ever. They are perfect for any special occasion, your holiday meals and easy enough for your weeknight dinners, too. The maple pecans make these beans nothing short of just being crazy good, and they are quite spectacular when you sprinkle them on top of the perfectly cooked beans. They just have a sparkle all their own….and wait til you taste them, it will be a huge WOW! for your tastebuds.
By the way, if you are struggling with side dishes I really encourage you to check out the cookbook from which this delicious recipe was procured. I love Cook’s Illustrated magazines and all their cookbooks.
Once you have measured, chopped and squeezed, this recipe comes together quickly.
Let’s get started with the star of the show, the maple pecans. First, in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat, toast the pecans just until fragrant, about 3 or 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of the butter, the maple syrup and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. It will bubble a lot, don’t be afraid, just stir until the butter has melted and sprinkle with the salt. Now return the pecans to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the nuts are dry and glossy, about 45 seconds; transfer to a plate or parchment or wax paper.
Wipe clean the skillet. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet over medium heat; when the foaming subsides (well, it never really totally subsides…let’s just way when the butter has melted), add the shallots, orange zest, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots have softened, about 2 minutes.
Now stir in the 2 teaspoons of flour and combine until all is incorporated.
Toss in the green beans and then add the chicken broth and orange juice.
Increase the heat to medium-high and cover. Cook the beans until they are partly tender but still crisp at the center, about 4 minutes.
Now uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 3 or 4 more minutes. Remove from heat and adjust the seasonings with the salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to your serving dish and sprinkle with the pecans. Make sure you don’t eat them all before they get to the table.
I hope you enjoy these deliciously tasty green beans as much as I do.
- ¾ cups pecans, chopped coarse
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup)
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- ½ teaspoon grated orange zest
- ⅓ cup juice from 1 orange
- pinch of cayenne
- 2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1½ pounds green beans, ends trimmed
- ⅔ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Ground black pepper
- Toast the pecans in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 4 minutes.
- Off the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of the butter, the maple syrup, and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Return the skillet to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the nuts are dry and glossy, about 45 seconds; transfer to a sheet of parchment paper.
- Wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet over medium heat; when the foaming subsides, add the shallots, orange zest, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the flour until combined, then toss in the green beans. Add the chicken broth, orange juice; increase the heat to medium-high, cover, and cook until the beans are partly tender but still crisp at the center, about 4 minutes.
- Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 4 more minutes.
- Off the heat, adjust the seasonings with the salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle evenly with the pecans, and serve.