Saving Your Thanksgiving Green Beans (Dilly Green Beans)

First of all, you’re welcome.

Second of all, if you’ve already purchased the cream-of-whatever soup, the canned (shudder) green beans, and those onion-y fried things, and you happen to be looking forward to your green bean casserole, then I suppose I am not saving your green beans.  But, for everyone else, you’re welcome.

I never think of myself as a picky eater (celiac doesn’t count, since it’s not a choice) until I actually start talking about food with other people, and then I realize I actually am quite particular.  I shared this thought with my mom recently, who definitely has her own ideas and opinions about food (such as, but not limited to hating any culture where the food gets, and I quote, ‘all mixed up,’ like Chinese food or Indian food, and the idea that no bowl of oatmeal is complete without two heaping tablespoons of brown sugar) and she grew slightly riled. She’s been accused of being a picky eater herself, and she responds thus: I am not a picky eater. I don’t know why everyone says that. I simply don’t like what I don’t like.

Anyway, as we Americans are likely to do around this time of year, yesterday I found myself in the unusual position actually eating my lunch with my co-workers instead of at my desk, and the conversation turned toward our favorite Thanksgiving foods.  To my surprise, since I am not so much of a foodie and think nothing of using the occasional box of instant mashed potatoes or tearing into a package of Kraft American singles for a grilled cheese, I was the only person at the table who makes her cranberry sauce from scratch. In fact, I’ve never even tasted cranberry sauce from a can. Perhaps even more surprising, I was the only person not looking forward with fervor to the ubiquitous green bean casserole. I don’t think of myself as a food snob but I guess I do believe certain items should be made from scratch and never, ever purchased pre-made, and those include the following: cranberry sauce/relish, stuffing /dressing for the turkey, and cookies.

My anti-green bean casserole stance is a little bit deeper rooted – I have, for a long time, found myself to be incredibly anti cream-of soups. I don’t know why. I don’t know where this came from, but I do know at some point even before I was a teenager I decided I would not stuff one more bite, no matter what the recipe, of anything using those gelatinous cream-of soups, in my mouth.

I’ve been fairly successful, the occasional slip-up not withstanding, and so I bring you the green bean recipe my grandmother and mother turned to after my resolution was put forth, neither of who complained when I made this decision and instead decided it was, indeed, time for a new green bean recipe.  I am not sure where this originally comes from so I can’t give credit to the original cook but here you go: Dilly Green Beans.

2 lbs fresh green beans, ends snipped off

2 teaspoons salt

2/3 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup oil

1 Tablespoon fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried (but really, use fresh)

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Fill large pot with about 1 inch of water and bring to boil; add beans and salt. Cover and simmer 10- 20 minutes, until beans are crisp-tender. Drain beans and return to pot. Add green onions and keep warm.

Combine oil, dill, red wine vinegar, dry mustard and pepper. Whisk together.  Pour over green beans and onion mixture.

*It is recommended you double the sauce*

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6 Responses to Saving Your Thanksgiving Green Beans (Dilly Green Beans)

  1. Emily Barton says:

    Okay, here is an area in which we disagree. I’m not, although I’ll eat it, a huge green bean casserole fan myself (growing up in the South, green beans are to be cooked in fatback or bacon and liberally salted. What’s this bland casserole stuff?), but, despite not being a picky eater myself, I don’t (unless it is flavoring pickles) like dill much, so I will have to pass on your recipe. Still, thank you for giving it to others who might love it.

  2. shoreacres says:

    Here I am, saying “thank you”! I haven’t served that ghastly green bean casserole in years, but am still searching for a good replacement, and this year we’ll give this one a try.

    In the past week I saw a post by someone who referenced a cookbook put together by some chef or other. The hook? It’s full of recipes for sauces to use as substitutes for all those cream soups! If I can find it again I’ll bring the link back here.

    And for your cranberry pleasure, this post from my favorite food blog, From Scratch. My current favorite recipe is in the comments – I even use my grandmother’s metal hand grinder to make it.

  3. katy says:

    i always need to figure out more things to do with dill other than sprinkle it on fish or use it to make pickles! i will try this soon.

  4. Courtney says:

    Emily – I don’t know if I’ve heard of someone not liking dill! I guess these few differences of ours keep things from getting truly scary, although it hurts my heart to think of you living a life free of dill-havarti cheese!

    shoreacres – oh my goodness I am going on a google hunt for that cookbook – it sounds terrific. And do let me know how you like the green beans…I’m off to explore the link you shared now…

    Katy – these beans are awesome. word.

  5. shoreacres says:

    @katy ~ Here’s something else to do with dill. Mix it with mayonnaise and horseradish in proportions that seem good to you. Plenty of dill. Spread some on rye bread, then add some ham and some swiss and grill it. Wait for compliments.

    @Courtney ~ thumbs up on the green beans! They’re really good that way – even my fussy mother liked them! Double thanks.

  6. Cam says:

    Once, in my early 20’s, Iwent to a thanksgiving dinner where the organizer did not specify what to bring besides “vegetables”. I brought green beans with sluvered almonds because I didnt know how to cook anything. There were 7 other green bean dishes – and no other veggies. :).

    I’ll have to try this sometime. Sound delicious. I’ll have to check out the cranberry recipies. I love making cranberry sauce. My new addition to my fav recipe this year was to add some apples while cooking. Yummy!

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