A wonderful alternative to the standard green bean casserole, sweet toasted pecans and a fragrant orange essence create a wonderful flavor combination that will surprise and delight the entire family.
SERVES 8 3/4 cup pecans (about 13/4 ounces), chopped coarse 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons maple syrup Salt 2 medium shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup) 1/2 teaspoon grated zest plus 1/3 cup juice from 1 large orange Pinch cayenne 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 11/2 pounds green beans, stem ends trimmed 2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage leaves Ground black pepper 1. Toast pecans in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in 1 tablespoon butter, maple syrup, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Return skillet to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until nuts are dry and glossy, about 45 seconds; transfer to plate and set aside. 2. Wipe out skillet. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium heat; when foaming subsides, add shallots, orange zest, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour until combined, then toss in green beans. Add chicken broth and orange juice; increase heat to medium-high, cover, and cook until beans are partly tender but still crisp at center, about 4 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender and sauce has thickened slightly, about 4 minutes. Off heat, adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving dish, sprinkle evenly with pecans, and serve.