Amy’s Quick and Easy Green Beans

Amy’s Quick and Easy Green BeansHow’ve You Bean?
I took a trip to the farmer’s market over the weekend hoping for a little inspiration. I did not find it. The calendar might tell us that spring has sprung but the produce markets have not received that memo. We are, in fact, in that annual period where the weather says peas, berries, and apricots—but the produce aisles still say potatoes and cabbage.

There are bright spots though. I have noticed that the strawberries have been really good lately. And, the asparagus and artichokes have been great But, it still doesn’t feel quite like spring.

My veggie garden has been started and the peas and beans are thriving, though they are nowhere close to bearing any vegetables. So, I must wait and perhaps visit the farmer’s market again this weekend to see if I can pick up some early peas…or perhaps just some fresh green beans to tide me over.

This recipe for Amy’s Quick and Easy Green Beans is my favorite way to eat beans beyond steaming them. Though the flavor leans towards the East, these go well with any grilled meats or even stand on their own.

Amy’s Quick and Easy Green Beans Recipe
Adapted from The New York Times Cooking
Yields 8 to 10 servings

2-1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger (about 6 inches ginger root, peeled)
4 medium-size garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek chili paste, divided

Blanch the beans
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Working in batches, boil the beans until they are just tender, but still crisp and bright green. Begin testing the beans after they have been cooking for about 4 minutes. And, be careful not to overcook them. When the beans are done, plunge them into ice water to stop cooking. As soon as they are cool, lift them out with tongs and drain them on towels.

Sauté the beans
Set a wide skillet or wok over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Working in batches, add half the beans, half the ginger, half the garlic, and half the chili paste. Cook, stirring and tossing continuously until the beans are heated through and the ginger and garlic are softened.

Sprinkle the dish with salt, and plate the beans on a serving dish.

Repeat with the remaining second half of the oil, beans, ginger, garlic, and chili paste.

Serve immediately.

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