For me, Thanksgiving is all about the sides and these green beans are so good, they might steal the show. Barely cooked green beans are enveloped in a strip of bacon sprinkled with a bit of brown sugar then drizzled with garlic butter. Do I need to say more? When I made these in the test kitchen they vanished. Plan for more than 1 bundle per person as your guests will come back for more. This is Williams Sonoma’s top reader recipe and there is a reason why! The original recipe appears here. When I made them a second time, I used fresh garlic instead of garlic powder in the butter and a generous sprinkle of freshly ground pepper on the finished beans. Even better! To ease the frantic Thanksgiving meal preparation, you could precook the bacon, have the green beans trimmed and blanched and assembled on the baking sheet until ready to bake. Sprinkle the brown sugar and the garlic butter just before putting in the oven.
Garlicky Green Bean Bundles with Caramelized Bacon
8 thick bacon slices
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. roasted garlic powder
1 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and blanched
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a large nonstick fry pan over medium heat, cook the bacon in batches until the slices are just beginning to brown along the edges but are still very underdone and pliable, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool, then cut each slice in half crosswise.
In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, salt and garlic powder.
Divide the green beans into 16 equal portions, about 6 beans each. Gather each portion into a neat bunch and wrap a half slice of bacon around the center to hold the beans together. Place the bundles on the prepared baking sheet with the loose ends of the bacon underneath. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bundles and drizzle with the butter mixture.
Roast until the bacon is cooked through and browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the green bean bundles to a serving platter.