These green beans are bundled together and held there by a thin strip of prosciutto. This salty cured lunch meat can be found at the deli counter and crisps easily, making it the perfect “string.” A bit of lemon and oil are brushed on, and before you know it, your side dish looks better than the main affair.
Our weekday menu is not fancy. It is a basic rotating bill of fare that includes exciting options like: tacos, burgers, chicken salad, soup, a casserole, pasta night. It’s a pretty standard menu for families, the type that mimics chain eating establishments with apples and days of the week in their names. Sure, we mix it up every once in a while, but during the school year there are a limited number of minutes with which to accomplish the task of feeding ourselves.
Everyone has homework. Did you know there’s an open house tonight? The oldest has a swim meet. There are Friday night football games and piano lessons and spelling words to drill into their brains. It feels like each day is filled to the brim, and so rather than new recipes and the casual dinners that occupied our summer routine, autumn is the time for tried-and-true dishes that we know like the back of our hand.
This doesn’t mean we don’t get sick of mediocrity, though. There are only so many boiled or steamed green beans tossed in butter and salt one family can eat before the kids start turning up their noses and exclaiming, “Green beans again?!” The same goes for any washed-out side dish that’s just meant to round out a meal built around the fastest-cooking protein you had available.
In an effort to keep the complaints at bay and make our meals at least somewhat appealing from week to week, I’ve found that the easiest way is to switch up the sides, roasting them rather than blanching; adding new spices; making quinoa in place of the requisite rice to accompany a chicken dinner. These small changes keep us interested in our food, while still using all our regular standby weeknight meals at length.
These green beans get the royal treatment. They can be wrapped beforehand or by small fingers, and they cook nicely on the grill next to your burgers, in the oven as your chicken crisps the skin, or under the broiler in just a few minutes’ time.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Green Bean Bundles
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
- 1 pound green beans
- 10 thin slices prosciutto
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, like thyme or oregano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Gather bundles of 5 to 7 green beans, wrapping each around the center with a piece of prosciutto. Tuck the end of the prosciutto into the green beans or into the wrapping to secure.
- Mince the fresh herbs and mix them together with the olive oil and lemon juice. Brush over the green beans.
- To grill: Place over a preheated grill, cooking 3 to 5 minutes per side until the green beans are cooked through.
- To broil: Place the bundles under a broiler, turning once after 3 minutes, and cooking on the second side until the green beans are cooked through, another 2 to 3 minutes.
- To bake: Place in a 350-degree-Fahrenheit oven for 7 minutes. Flip and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes until green beans are cooked through and the prosciutto is crisp.
Makes 5 to 7 servings.
Photo credit: Shaina Olmanson