This Green Beans, Bacon and Onion side dish is the perfect do ahead dish for ANY meal. AND it is gluten free and dairy free.
This is a Gr8 side dish for company or holidays because you can do a lot of the prep the day before.
Also, this is a just as delicious if you use frozen green beans. So it's a nice addition to a menu because you can buy the frozen veggie ahead of time.
I love to serve this because I can do most of the prep ahead of time. And so far, there's never been anyone who hasn't eaten it...except, of course, the vegetarians and vegans in my life! And that's okay, because you can't please all the people all the time.
How to Prepare this Dish in Advance
Step One: cook the beans. If you're using fresh, then plunge them into boiling water and cook for about 6 minutes until just tender. Then plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain. When cool, cover and place in the fridge.
Step Two: next cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the frying pan and drain on paper towels. Cool, crumble and put in a bag or bowl in the refrigerator.
Step Three: pour the bacon grease from the pan into a small bowl or jar, cover and set aside.
Step Four: dice the onion and refrigerate until ready to use.
So now all the "parts" are ready to go. When you're getting near serving time, heat the bacon fat in a frying pan. Add the onions and saute until translucent then add the green beans and heat through.
Toss with the red wine vinegar and add the crumbled bacon. The dish is now ready to serve! You can serve it hot, but it's also still delicious at room temperature.
Yes! Vinegar, just a little, adds a nice tangy note and is a Gr8 counterpoint to any sweetness in a dish. The acid brightens and lightens the dish. Plus it's good for your gut!
My grandmother used to use vinegar in a lot of her cooking. And as I've been thinking more about recipes and writing about them in this blog, I've realized that many of the older recipes incorporated vinegar.
Now we tend to use fresh lemon juice to finish a dish which acts the same way.
Sure it's a green vegetable, but it has bacon in it! Bacon makes everything tastier.... Who doesn't love bacon?
Green Beans, Bacon and Onion
- 12 ounces green beans, fresh or frozen
- ¼ pound bacon slices
- 2 Tablespoons bacon fat
- ⅓ cup diced red onion
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Cook the fresh green beans in a pot of boiling water for about 6 minutes until just tender. If using frozen green beans, then cook according to package directions.
- Plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium frying pan, cook the bacon until crispy, remove and drain on paper towels.
- Remove all but 2 Tablespoons bacon fat from the pan. (If there isn't 2 Tablespoons then add olive oil or butter so you have the correct amount.)
- Sauté the red onion until translucent in the bacon fat, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the green beans to the red onion mixture and sauté until heated through.
- Put the red wine vinegar onto the beans and toss to fully incorporate.
- Crumble the bacon and toss with the beans.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Bacon can be cooked up to a day ahead of time. Drain and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Refrigerate the bacon fat separately until ready to continue.
- The beans can also be cooked a day ahead of time, store in the refrigerator.
- Dice the onion the night before, too, and store in a sealable plastic bag in the refrigerator.
- The onion can be sautéed up to 2 hours ahead of time. Leave it in the frying pan at room temperature until ready to reheat and proceed with Step 7.