Country ham and salsify combine to add depth of flavor to these green beans. Salsify is a vegetable that oxidizes quickly, so it’s placed in ice water as soon as it’s cut.
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Peel the flesh of the salsify into the water. Meanwhile, set up a steaming rack over a pot or pan. Add some water to the pan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Transfer the salsify to the steaming rack, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Steam until tender and remove from heat. Slice the salsify thinly, and set aside.
Bring a pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Cook the green beans for 7 minutes or until very tender (but without losing the bright green color). Immediately drain into a sieve and hold under cold running water. When cool, drain well and pat dry.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the oil. Next, add the country ham, pecans, and salsify. Sauté for 4 minutes or until the ham and salsify brown. Add the maple syrup and sauté the mixture for 1 minute. Add the green beans and sauté until heated, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot.