Food & Drink

Elevate green beans from Thanksgiving afterthought

The recipe is simple for skillet green beans bathed in brown butter, then tossed with fresh tarragon, Dijon mustard and lemon zest.
The recipe is simple for skillet green beans bathed in brown butter, then tossed with fresh tarragon, Dijon mustard and lemon zest. Associated Press

Admit it: When it comes to preparing Thanksgiving dinner, the greens are an afterthought. You give all your focus to the bird, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, probably even a couple of orange vegetables. But the green stuff? Um – how long does it take to microwave frozen green beans?

It doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why we created this delicious – yet ridiculously simple – recipe for skillet green beans bathed in brown butter, then tossed with fresh tarragon, Dijon mustard and lemon zest. Top the whole thing with toasted sunflower seeds and call it good. Total effort? Only about 20 minutes, and about half of that is hands-off.

Sunflower seeds (get unsalted) don’t do it for you? Substitute toasted pumpkin seeds (sometimes called pepitas) or chopped toasted hazelnuts.

GREEN BEANS WITH TARRAGON, MUSTARD AND SUNFLOWER SEEDS

Servings: 8

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter

2 pounds green beans, trimmed

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

In a large deep skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the butter for five minutes, or until it is toasty and fragrant. Add the green beans and salt, then stir to coat. Cover and cook for eight to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the green beans are just tender. Stir in the tarragon, mustard, lemon zest and sunflower seeds. Serve hot.

Nutrition information per serving: 140 calories; 100 calories from fat (71 percent of total calories); 11 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 25 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 3 g protein; 340 mg sodium.

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