Thursday, September 21, 2006

braised green beans with soy and sesame

In the coming days, I expect I will be making --- and hopefully blogging -- a number of green bean recipes, in an effort to use up a glut of green beans from the garden. Glut as in gluttony as in yummy what a dilemma to have. The Huz and I really like green beans, as long as they're as good as the sweet variety we planted this year: Blue Lake. (For you gardeners out there, you can get Blue Lake in both bush and pole varieties, and the bush variety bears beans earlier. Right about the time the bush beans are tapering off, in kick the pole beans. Ahhhh. Heaven.)

So I turned to my trusty "Vegetables Every Day" (did yours arrive yet, Kalyn?) to see what we might see. Below is a recipe that the author rightly assures us is great for the beans that stayed on the vine a little too long. Blue Lake beans never do turn tough or stringy no matter how lazy a harvester you are, but nonetheless I used this recipe on the ones that The Huz picked last night, the ones that were too high for me and thus got a bit bigger than we normally let them do. We call them the police batons. He picked them just last night, when he got home from work , in the near-dark at 7:30 already. Yes, summer's over, folks. Sigh.

If you like gorgonzola, try sprinkling a tiny bit over your beans at the table. It's great!

Braised Green Beans with Soy and Sesame

From the book: "This recipe is a good use for thicker, older, out-of-season beans. The long cooking time may shock those used to eating crisp (i.e., undercooked) green beans. However, braising makes the beans especially tender and gives them a chance to absorb the flavors from the braising liquid. The result is highly seasoned, very tender (but not mushy) beans. Serve these beans as a side for something plain, such as sauteed chicken breasts, and accompany with plenty of white rice to absorb the potent sauce the braising liquid forms when reduced."

2/3 c chicken or vegetable stock (I used only ½ cup)
2 T soy sauce
1 T toasted sesame oil
1 T roasted peanut oil (I used olive)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 T fresh gingerroot, minced
2 medium scallions, sliced thin (I used minced onion)
1 pound green beans, ends snapped off
1 T minced fresh cilantro or basil leaves
freshly ground black pepper
  • Combine the stock, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Heat the peanut oil in a large saute pan. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions and saute over medium heat until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute.
  • Add the beans and stir to coat them well with the oil and aromatics.
  • Add the stock mixture to the pan and bring the liquid to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer, stirring two or three times, until the beans are tender but still offer some resistance to the bit, about 20 minutes.
  • Uncover and cook to reduce the remaining liquid to just a tablespoon or two, two to three minutes.
  • Stir in the cilantro or basil and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
P.S. I normally am not a big cilantro fan, but I had gotten some to try with the cucumber, mango and black bean salad (I usually stick pretty closely to a recipe the first time I try it), so I cautiously used it here. It was very good! Something about that fresh, odd flavor set off this strong, dark-flavored dish quite nicely. But I'm sure basil would also have been an asset to the dish.

P.P.S. This is my entry in Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging event. She'll be posting the roundup sometime Sunday evening, so be sure to stop by and say "Hey!"


Kalyn said...

Yes, my book arrived two days ago, but unfortunately I haven't really had a second to look at it yet. My life is soo hectic when I have to actually spend eight hours a day at school!

This sounds great. When I have grown beans, I never can use them all up quickly enough, so this could be handy.

coffeepot said...

We grow blue lakes too.

I hate to string beans. I can't wait to try this and see the other recipes too.