Seriously Simple: Summer green beans get blistered for big flavor
By DIANE ROSSEN WORTHINGTON, ENTRÉETRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY |JUN 03, 2020 AT 3:07 PM
In the middle of a pandemic, what could be better than a book landing on my desk that transported me to a blissful New England Hills state of mind? Browsing through “The Berkshires Farm Table Cookbook,” I couldn’t wait to whip up some of the featured farm fresh dishes. In addition to the tested recipes, the book explores and celebrates the farmers, cheesemakers, chefs and restaurants of the area.
Photographs transport the reader to a calm, bucolic place. Authors Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner are former lawyers who wanted to share their love of this land and the food that is produced from it with readers who love to cook, and Chef Brian Alberg is responsible for many of the recipes. The authors have lived in the Berkshires for 35 years and put together a tribute to the land with photographs, stories and recipes that will send you into your kitchen pronto.
The green bean is one of my favorite vegetables. Once you make this recipe, you will return to it again and again. It is Seriously Simple but with lots of assertive flavor. The “blistering” of the greens in a hot pan concentrates their flavor so they hold their own with the Dijon mustard and lemon in the vinaigrette.
Select green beans that aren’t too large, or they may be starchy without much flavor. I like medium-thick green beans that are bright green. Also, be sure to allow the green beans enough time on the heat so they start to blister and get brown in spots.
This dish will complement any main roast or grilled chicken, beef, pork or lamb dish. And it is equally tasty as a warm or cold accompaniment.
Blistered Green Beans with Dijon Vinaigrette
Form The Red Lion Inn
Serves 4 as a side
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup whole-grain Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
1 pound green beans, stemmed
1. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the olive oil and lemon zest; set the vinaigrette aside.
2. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the red onion and cook until golden, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. Return the pan to the heat, add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil, and spread out the beans in a single layer as much as possible. Allow the beans to cook without moving until they begin to blister and start to turn brown in spots. Stir and continue to cook to the desired tenderness, 8 to 10 minutes. Just before turning off the heat, add the onion back to the pan and stir to combine.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the vinaigrette directly into the pan. Stir to combine, then let stand for 10 to 15 minutes so the beans can absorb some of the dressing. Serve warm or make ahead and serve as a cold salad.
(Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.)
© 2020, DIANE ROSSEN WORTHINGTON. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC