It is thought that green-beans, also called runner beans, French beans or string beans first were cultivated in Central and South America. They’re easily grown and almost every culture has some variety of the green-bean. Even better, green beans are very nutritious! One cup of these guys will provide only 34 calories but give you 2 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and are an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C, iron, potassium and beta-carotene. The question is, how do you cook them without adding too much fat or cooking out all their nutrients? I’m a fan of steaming them with garlic and mushroom then sprinkling them with dill. I like them to be firm and even a little crunchy still but having only one way to cook a string-bean is boring. So here’s another way that doesn’t include those little pretend onion pieces.
This preparation is similar to some Asian restaurants I’ve seen serve green beans and a friend of mine let me in on how they do it!
This one isn’t so messy but here’s what you’ll need:
An oven preheated to 350 °F
- kosher salt to taste (start small)
- sesame seeds
- sesame (more flavor) or vegetable oil (more likely to have already) – about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon.
- whole, fresh green beans, snapped to about 1″
With the green beans all snapped and ready in the bowl, drizzle them with the oil and toss well. Extra points for height! When the green guys are evenly covered you know you had enough oil. Sprinkle them with salt and sesame seed and toss again. When everything is all mixed well, spread them out on an tin-foil covered cookie sheet. When the oven is hot, put them at least in the middle if not further back and let them sit for 30-45 minutes. If you feel like checking on them earlier and flipping some over go right ahead. The skinnier green-beans might brown a little and that’s OK but if a lot of them are black they’ve gone too long! After the first 30 minutes or so if you think they’re wrinkling well, you can turn off the oven and just leave the little guys in there.
With this method, they’re expected to be soft and shriveled, if you like them soft and chewy, just leave them in longer. When they’re all wrinkled up, pour them back into your tossing bowl and splash them with soy-sauce and toss them one more time. Either use the tin-foil lining to cover them in the bowl to keep them hot or serve!