Green Beans and Salsify with Country Ham and Pecans

For his simple side dish, Dean Fearing sautés crisp green beans with caramelized salsify, toasted pecans and strips of intense country ham. At home, he jokingly calls them "all-day" green beans—in fact, they take about half an hour to prepare.


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  • Servings: 12

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  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 pound salsify
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves
  • 4 ounces country ham, cut into 2-by-1/4-inch strips
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the beans until tender, 7 minutes. Using a wire skimmer, transfer the beans to a baking sheet to cool. Keep the water boiling.

  2. Squeeze the lemon into a medium bowl of water. Working with one stalk at a time, peel the salsify, slice it 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal and transfer to the lemon water. Drain the salsify and add it to the boiling water. Cook until just tender, about 4 minutes, then drain and pat dry.

  3. In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil. Add the pecans and salsify and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Add the country ham, reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Add the green beans and cook, stirring, until hot, about 3 minutes. Stir in the maple syrup and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated for 2 days; let return to room temperature.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published November 2007

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