Today: How to coax the most flavor out of sweet summer beans.
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You're probably thinking: those look like sautéed green beans -- I don't need a Genius Recipe for that! But their secret is tucked away inside, in parsing the fine details. You just have to do the opposite of what you've been doing.
See, green beans have a whole lot more potential than we realize. Their natural state can be severe, squeaky -- our goal is to break through that, but we're going about it all wrong.
We tend to blanch them first thing, washing away some of their character -- even if we're going to sauté them. (I'm not sure why we do that, other than impatience, or an abstract desire for brighter color.) Or we throw them into salads as a vehicle for dressing, a willing but silent sidekick to Niçoise's tuna and olives.
Even if we skipped blanching, we'd probably absently sauté some shallot or garlic, then add the beans -- so they end up tasting like sautéed shallot or garlic. None of this leads to bad green beans. But they could be even better.
This technique, which comes from cookbook author Penelope Casas by way of Food52er creamtea -- looks embarrassingly simple, and it is. But it shakes up our habits, and with 4 ingredients, lets green beans become their best selves.
The Genius Desserts cookbook is here! With more than 100 of the most beloved and talked-about desserts of our time (and the hidden gems soon to join their ranks) this book will make you a local legend, and a smarter baker to boot.
I'm an ex-economist, ex-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."