If you’re a mom, then chances are, you’ve served your kids green beans. I mean, I know kids who will only eat green beans or ketchup when given an ultimatum to eat their vegetables! My kids loved green beans when they were little. In fact, the first time Christopher had a Happy Meal, he was about four years old. I pulled out chicken nuggets, French fries, and a bottle of milk and spread them on the table in front of him. He just stared at the food for about two minutes and then he looked up at me with confused blue eyes and asked, “Mama, where are the green beans?” Needless to say, I had to open a can of green beans and warm them up for him!
Once in a rush, I even served them cold right out the can. Yes, I know that’s gross, but they’re my children. They weren’t traumatized or poisoned by eating cold green beans. They slurped them down and asked for more.
Okay. That happened more than once. Don’t judge.
Later, I cooked them by draining all the liquid off and cooking them in butter. This kept my kids eating them for a few more years.
And then, somewhere along the way, my kids lost their love of green beans from a can. They moved on to asparagus and artichokes, eggplant and zucchini, squash and kale. I didn’t mourn the loss of the humble green bean. I was just grateful that my kids still loved vegetables!
A few years ago, I started making green beans that they fell in love with all over again! In fact, these have graced the Thanksgiving table at my parents’ house more than once. I mean, you add sautéed onions and smoked sausage to fresh green beans and you’ve got a winner!
Sausage Sauteed Green Beans
- 1 gallon of fresh green beans, ends removed
- 3 links of sausage, sliced in half lengthwise and then cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large onion, diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Using a large stockpot, add a gallon of water and 3-4 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once water comes to an active, rolling boil, add the green beans. While the beans are boiling, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Boil the green beans until they are bright green and tender. Using tongs or a large slotted spoon, remove the green beans from the boiling water and place them immediately into the ice water. This will stop the cooking process instantly. Once they are cool, place the beans in a strainer to drain completely.
Add several tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet and heat. Add onions and sausage and sauté until onions are tender and sausage is browned. Add green beans and stir until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. I added about 1/2 teaspoon of pepper but hardly any salt since the beans had been blanched in salt water.
Well Duh #1: The boiling process described above is called “blanching.” There’s a fancy cooking term for you!
Well Duh #2: Placing vegetables from boiling water into ice water is called “shocking” the vegetables. Wow! Another cooking term!
Well Duh #3: If your pot is not big enough to accommodate all of your green beans at once, you can blanch them in batches.
Well Duh #4: Taste your beans before adding salt. The saltiness of your sausage – as well as the fact that the beans were blanched in salt water – will affect how much salt you add.
Well Duh #5: I usually blanch my green beans the day before – or earlier in the day – and keep them in the refrigerator until time to sauté them with the onions and sausage.
Well Duh #6: The most time-consuming part of this recipe is cutting (or snapping) the stem ends from the green beans. I usually take my bag of beans, a big bowl, and a Solo cup into the living room where I can sit on the couch and watch t.v. while I snap the ends off. The Solo cup is for the ends. The big bowl is for the finished beans. It doesn’t seem to take as long when I do that.
Well Duh #7: You can make the ice bath in your sink – if it isn’t full of dirty dishes!
My family seriously gobbles these up! The green bean has come full-circle in my house!