I'm a terrible menu planner. I do it all backwards. I go to the store and buy things that look good, and then come home and don't know what to make with them. Case in point: a big bag of really beautiful frozen green beans. Trader Joe's has them right now: vibrantly colored haricots verts, the young, skinny French green beans, at a terrific price. I couldn't resist. But then I put them in the freezer and couldn't decide what to do with them. When in doubt, turn to bacon!
The finished dish reminds me of pasta carbonara. It tastes salty and rich, but it doesn't pack the caloric punch of spaghetti. And to make things even easier, I used canned Parmesan cheese. I know, gross, right? For some presentations, only freshly shaved cheese will do, but in this recipe, it fits the bill. By all means, use fresh green beans and high-quality cheese, but I guarantee, even with these short cuts, this is a side dish your pickiest, veggie-hating friends will love!
Green Beans with Bacon
- 2 or 3 slices of bacon
- 1 pound frozen haricots verts
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Dice the bacon and fry in a very large pan or Dutch oven. When done to your liking, remove the bacon to a bowl, turn off the heat, and leave the bacon grease in the pan.
- While the bacon is cooking, put the beans in a covered microwave-safe dish and add 2 or 3 teaspoons of water. Read the cooking directions on the back, and subtract 2 minutes. Mine said to cook them for six to eight minutes, and I cooked them for four minutes, stirring halfway through.
- When the beans are done - you want them undercooked - add them to the pan with the bacon grease and sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes. You want them to still be firm, so don't overcook them now! When done, remove from heat, and add back the bacon, plus the cheese and lemon juice. Toss with tongs and serve.