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Growing up, my sister and I ate all our veggies. With my mom, there was no other option – the rule was to finish everything served on the plate whether or not we like it; if we didn’t like something, the only available option was to not have seconds. As a grown up, I haven’t necessarily been “eating all my veggies”. It’s not like I will let them go to waste (there are always stews and gratins and quesadillas to make the boring veggies disappear), but I can admit that I sometimes conveniently “forget” to buy those vegetables when I’m shopping.
My husband frequently bugs me about having “favorites” when it comes to vegetables (hello, potatoes! goodbye, spinach), and now that we have a baby, he warns me that I may not have the necessary moral high ground to make our kid eat all his veggies. Reminds me of an episode of The Big Bang Theory I recently watched where Howard (Simon Helberg) finds out they are expecting a baby, and he is totally freaking out, and tells the guys “I shouldn’t be raising a kid. I don’t even eat my own vegetables.”. Green beans were probably near the top of the list of vegetables I didn’t really care for, until I made these.
These blistered green beans from the Bon Appetit magazine are the best green beans I’ve ever had, and I don’t say such things lightly. Granted I picked this recipe only to get through the mountain of green beans we had languishing in the fridge, because someone (me) didn’t want to eat them (forget about cooking them), but I’m so very glad I did!
The beans (washed, strings removed, ends trimmed) are throughly patted dry, and then sort of shallow-fried in olive oil on high heat, until blistered uniformly. A tiny mountain of sliced garlic goes in next for a minute. Finished with salt, capers and crush red chili flakes, these are so, so good straight from the pan, you will happily forgive the inclusion of 2 Italian ingredients. It’s hard to be pedantic about authenticity when your mouth is stuffed.
Just remember to dry the beans thoroughly to avoid any dramatic oil sputtering and splattering situations in the kitchen!
To make these more substantial (more than just a side dish), you can fry up some crumbled tofu or pork and put it on top, but just try the beans as they are once before you add anything else.
Enjoy the beans! I’m off to update my grocery list and will probably be adding “green beans” to the list for the very first time (happily, that is – previously it was always at gunpoint).
Blistered Green Beans with Garlic
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
Makes 4 side servings
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound green beans, trimmed and patted dry (thoroughly)
1 teaspoon sea salt
6-8 garlic cloves, sliced (thick)
2 tablespoons capers, drained, chopped
1-2 teaspoons (or to taste) crushed red pepper flakes
Make sure beans are completely and thoroughly dry.
Heat oil in a large, wide skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add green beans and cook, until browned underneath, about 3 minutes. There will be a lot of oil spluttering everywhere so be careful! Partially cover the pan if required.
Turn beans with tongs and redistribute so they brown evenly. Continue to cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over and tender, about 5 more minutes. Be careful not to burn any, keep moving them around in the pan. Season with salt.
Add garlic, capers, and red pepper flakes. Cook, tossing occasionally for another minute, just until garlic takes on a slight color, about 1 minute.
Transfer beans to a platter; drizzle about a teaspoon more oil over the beans if desired, and serve hot.