Dress up your green beans and be the perfect holiday guest

This recipe is definitely the simplest one that I have made in a long time. It’s an easy green beans recipe and is perfect to take along as your contribution to any holiday party. It only requires six ingredients and a pot and bowl of water.

  • ½ Lb. Green beans 
  • 1 C. Fennel
  • 1 C. Carrots
  • 1 C. Red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. Pine nuts
  • 1 Bottle Italian salad dressing

Get a big pot and fill it with water and place it over medium heat. I learned on Worst Cooks in America to add a dash of salt to the water for more flavor. I have to say, since I’ve been doing that I’ve noticed a big difference. While your water starts to boil, you can prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Start with the green beans because they’ll need to cook in the boiling water. Just make sure to cut off the stems. I also cut them into bite-sized pieces so they all cook at the same rate.

I prepared all of my vegetables before I started cooking the beans because they really don’t take long to boil. You want all of your other vegetables to be sliced thinly, julienned for consistency. Julienned basically just means cut lengthwise (that’s something I learned from Worst Cooks too, thanks Bobby Flay). I tried to make everything about the same length as my green beans because I like things to be even.

The carrots and red pepper were easy enough, but when it came to the fennel I had to once again turn to the Internet. (One day I’m going to get through one of these recipes without having to Google how to do something…)

First off, use the white part for this recipe. Cut off the stems that look like celery and cut the bulb in half. Make sure to remove the core and then slice it like an onion. If you need a better visual of how to do this, Martha Stewart helped me with this video.

Once all of your prep work is done you can go ahead and throw your green beans into the boiling (and salty) water. This recipe calls for just three minutes of cooking time, but I went with five because my family loves overdone green beans.

While this is cooking, you’ll want to fill a large bowl with cold water to blanch you green beans. This stops the cooking process when it comes out of the water. That’s some more Worst Cooks in America knowledge right there! Drain your green beans and immediately put them in the bowl of cold water until they have completely cooled.

Finally, drain that bowl as well and add in the rest of your vegetables and as much salad dressing as you’d like for more flavor. I opted out of using the pine nuts because I have some family members who have allergies, but that’s it. Now you have some fantastic green beans to take to your Thanksgiving host or hostess!

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!


Caitlin Hutchinson

The Association for Dressings & Sauces