Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Citrus Green Beans

Sometimes the key to being a good cook is stepping away from all the fancy ingredients and elaborate techniques. It's easy to throw some bacon or a dash of truffle oil on almost anything, but when the ingredients are truly spectacular, it's really not necessary. Green beans have recently started to appear at the farmers' market and they are one of veggies I most look forward to coming in season. I can never make it through trimming all the beans without sneaking a few myself, a sure sign that there's not much needed to turn them into a truly spectacular dish. Crisp-tender green beans are dressed by a touch of toasty walnut oil, balanced by a bright pop of lemon. I happen to be an avid collector of oils and vinegars, but if you don't have walnut oil, olive, almond, toasted sesame, or even just canola or safflower oil will leave you with a fantastic dish. Be sure to toss the green beans with the dressing while the beans are still warm so the flavors soak in, but this side can be enjoyed warm, at room temperature, or even cold. A perfect companion to nearly any protein, this simple summer side can happily find a place at your summer dinner party, cookout, or average evening at home.

Citrus Green Beans
from Whole Foods
serves 8 to 10

2 pounds green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons walnut oil
3 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook green beans until just tender, 5 to 8 minutes. While they are cooking, whisk together both oils, lemon juice and zest. Drain beans and toss with dressing while still hot. Season with salt and pepper.

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