Spicy Green Beans

Green bean casserole. Just the mention of it conjures up the specter of Thanksgiving dinner. It also brings up heated debates regarding what is in it, do we really need it, who fixed it well, and heck, why can’t we just have green beans with butter and bacon? Enter Food Network chef Alex Guarnaschelli with her take on green beans. I adapted my recipe from hers, because we all want to copy the best.

3/4 cups green beans (washed, tipped, and cut into 1-inch pieces)
3 tablespoons creamy horseradish sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
zest and juice of one lime
6 sprigs basil, stemmed
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 teaspoon mustard
bacon pieces, to top beans with
salt and pepper

Whisk together the horseradish, olive oil, cider vinegar, mustard, lime juice and zest. Make sure everything is incorporated well. Taste, then add a touch of salt and pepper. Whisk and taste again. Set aside.

Cook green beans in boiling salted water. Make sure to have a bowl of ice water with a colander in it ready. When the beans are cooked but slightly crunchy (about 2-4 minutes), remove from boiling water and put into the colander in the ice water. Stir the beans in the water to cool them quickly.

Once the beans are cool, drain well and put into a medium bowl. Add the dressing and some of the almonds, then toss to coat. Taste again, and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Stir in the basil leaves and sprinkle with remainder of slivered almonds and bacon pieces.

Optional ingredients: bacon (obviously); cocktail onions, cut into quarters; diced peppers; dried cranberries; fried garlic or onions

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