As John Chambal, owner of the former Good Food in Briarcliff Manor, likes to point out, “This is not your grandmother’s green bean casserole. This simple yet stunning dish celebrates the beauty of fresh green beans, letting their flavor shine through with minimal fuss.” And, like all great dinner party dishes, this one can be partially prepared ahead of time. Serves six to eight.
Prepare an ice bath for the green beans by filling a large bowl with ice water and salting it. Fill a large pot with water, bring to a boil, and add a generous amount of salt. Add green beans and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain and immediately transfer to bowl of salted ice water to stop them from cooking. When the beans are cool, drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. (If the onion begins to stick, just add a bit of water.) Lower heat, add vinegar, and stir for one minute. Add cranberries and thyme and remove from heat. Set aside.
Just before serving, in a large skillet, heat 1 tsp of the oil over medium heat. Add drained green beans, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the onion and cranberry mixture and stir until heated through.
Note: Beans and onions can be prepared a day ahead and stored separately.