Counterintuitive cooking with green beans

Chicago TribuneApril 30, 2014 

FOOD GREEN-BEANS TB

Roasted or stir-fried green beans turn wrinkly which one would think means ruined but the truth is that the slow roasted, quick fried, chili-spiked, sesame-warmed bean is an intensely flavorful delight. MCT

BILL HOGAN — MCT

Smooth: good. Wrinkled: bad. Standard policy in many a household, especially for linens and skin. Smooth suggests order, freshness, vitality. Wrinkled suggests ruin.

Exceptions abound: The crinkled face of the poppy. The creased and crumpled high-fashion frock. The green bean.

Fresh off the vine, the green bean offers a smooth hand and crisp bite. Steamed, it blushes verdant and vibrant. If not terribly flavorful.

Alternatively, the green bean can be roasted and stir-fried into wrinkly excess. In this state, the limp bean no longer speaks of order, freshness and vitality. With its brown spots and craggy skin, it suggests ruin.

One taste reveals the truth: that the slow roasted, quick fried, chili-spiked, sesame-warmed bean is an intensely flavorful delight. Inspiration enough to give up on ironing.

WRINKLED GREEN BEANS

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed, rinsed and dried

3 teaspoons peanut oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon Asian red chili paste (see note, below)

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1. Roast: Toss beans with 2 teaspoons peanut oil and the salt. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and slide into a 425-degree oven. Roast, shaking once or twice, until beans are wrinkled and browned in spots, about 14 minutes.

2. Mix: Meanwhile, stir together soy, ginger, sesame oil and chili paste. Pour into a serving bowl.

3. Stir-fry: Measure remaining 1 teaspoon peanut oil into a wok or large, heavy skillet. Heat over medium-high. Add garlic and cook, stirring, a few seconds. Add beans. Toss.

4. Season: Scoop beans into the serving bowl. Toss to coat with sauce. Enjoy.

Note: Asian red chili paste is available in the grocery store, alongside other Asian products, or from specialty markets.

Serves 4.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service