Almonds and green beans are a classic combination, but for this recipe I wanted to look a little closer to home and decided to use some Georgia-grown pecans. The result is a side dish that works well as an anchor for an all-vegetable meal (my summer go-to dinner), or alongside grilled meat. However it is totally transformed into a light but special stand-alone-meal with the addition of a poached or soft boiled egg served with each portion. The runny yolk coats the beans and toasted flecks of pecan and makes a wonderful sauce.
Afterward I'd highly recommend you serve peaches for dessert. It makes for a southern supper worthy of serving to your Georgia born-and-bred grandmother-in-law, Ruby Nell, if like me you are lucky enough to have such a person in your life.
Toasted Pecan Green Beans
Raise the heat under the pan to medium high and add the oil and garlic. Cook the garlic, stirring until it is golden and fragrant, than remove it and reserve for another use. You just want to lightly flavor the oil.
Add the green beans (this is where it's important that they're dry--if the beans are still damp from washing the oil will splatter), and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the beans are bright green and beginning to get a few browned spots. Add the ground pecans and a generous pinch of salt and fry one minute more, stirring.
Remove the beans, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the pan and serve immediately, topped with one or two eggs with runny yolks, if you like.