rethinking the bean

Research Andrew’s favorite vegetable on wikipedia and you find the unfortunate truth:

Green beans are often steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or baked in casseroles. A dish with green beans popular throughout the United States, particularly at Thanksgiving, is green bean casserole consisting of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French fried onions. Green beans are of nearly universal distribution. They are marketed, canned, frozen, and fresh.

Precisely the problem.

I’ve told you before, I am not a green bean gal. Perhaps because I knew them only in canned form for most of my life.

The market on Saturday had a few touches of summer remaining: eggplants, peppers, peaches. Then I spied a few crunchy beans, encouraged to find there is still time to try something new. Before we move into canned casserole season (good grief!), give it a try: grill your greens.

Lindsey’s Grilled Green Beans

1 lb. fresh green beans

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

crushed red chili flakes (preferable not from a jar living in your pantry since the last presidential election)

three cloves fresh garlic, crushed

coarse salt, fresh black pepper

Wash the beans well. Using kitchen scissors (one of my favorite tools), snip just tip of the closed ends.

With the side of a large knife (or bottom of a small skillet), whack each clove of garlic until it comes out of its papery skin and is well smashed. Into a gallon-size bag, put the washed and trimmed beans, a drizzle of olive oil to coat the beans, a small drizzle of balsamic vinegar, the garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and pinch of red chili flakes.

Marinate the beans at least 20 minutes—though you could refrigerate for an hour or so; they’re hardy.

Distribute the beans on the grill (or grill pan) over medium heat, turning occasionally. Cook until they have grill marks and are tender when pierced with a small sharp knife.

Should you want to dress things up a bit, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds or freshly toasted almond slivers.

If you don’t have a grill or grill pan, use this same recipe for green beans roasted on a metal baking sheet (or two, don’t crowd the veggies!) at 400F until tender—about 30 minutes.

What food do you love that your significant other absolutely does not?




a vintage photo, ringing in the new 2010 with more spectacular string beans… roasted sicilian-style for my closest girlfriends.


Filed under budget, dinners, health, techniques, the basics

4 responses to “rethinking the bean

  1. I enjoy eating the flesh of the purple-coloured aubergine. Sadly, my husband does not. So it is only rarely that I am able to enjoy ratatouille and other such dishes.

    • Oh Colline, I must also only purchase eggplant for one as Andrew, past the age of three, grew a serious disdain for these innocent purple darlings.I drool over the very notion of ratatouille, but have never even had the opportunity to enjoy it.

      I peel my eggplant completely when cooking Indian cuisine, as I find it seems to also melt into sauces better. Otherwise, I sometimes peel the skin in strips, just because it’s beautiful. We must simply have an eggplant-eating club. Are you familiar with Jenni Ferrari-Adler’s book Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant? That’s me.

  2. Yum, this sounds delicious. We like cooking asparagus like this too.

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