Spicy Green Beans

First, it’s delicious. Second, it’s lickety-split and easy as can be. Third, it accents the veggie’s taste, rather than destroying it. If you find yourself skipping your vegetables because you forget until your entree’s done, this recipe will kill your excuse. Your other food won’t have time to get cold before this is done. Use the same technique for delicious results with snow peas or sugar snap peas. Snow peas cook faster, but you might try a higher flame so that you can get a little searing action in a shorter time frame, thereby avoiding overcooking. I like to snap the ends and pull the strings of snow peas as well, but some people don’t mind the relatively tender string.

Use the same technique for delicious results with snow peas or sugar snap peas. Snow peas cook faster, but you might try a higher flame so that you can get a little searing action in a shorter time frame, thereby avoiding overcooking. I like to snap the ends & pull the strings of snow peas as well, but some people don’t mind the relatively tender string.green beans (a couple handfuls per person), rinsed and ends broken off
olive oil
coarse Kosher salt
coarsely ground black pepper
crushed red pepper

Heat up your pan on medium heat. Add olive oil and heat a few seconds.

Toss in your green beans and shake or stir occasionally until the beans start to sear. Little black spots will appear. This should take about 2 minutes or so, depending on the amount of beans you’re cooking.

Grind in fresh black pepper, toss in some coarse Kosher salt (the coarse stuff doesn’t dissolve into the oil, so you get a more distinct flavor) and the crushed red pepper, give the pan a final shake, and it’s done.

NOTES

Most commercially available green beans are stringless, but it’s easy to tell if they’re not. When you break off the ends, the string will stay attached to both the bean and the broken tip. Just zip it right off the length of the bean.

Stringy beans might also be stringless beans that are past their prime. This can happen if they’re stored too long, or if they’re simply picked too late (as a gardener, I know firsthand the agony of picking the beans too late…blech).

It’s a good idea to test them at the supermarket before you buy. Snap off the end and bite into it. The pod of a raw green bean, stringed or stringless, should be yummy, tender, and sweet, and the beans inside should be tender as well. Old green beans pods are fibrous, flavorless, and generally inedible, and the inside beans are hard and grainy. Yuck.



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