Make Ahead

Five-ingredient green bean salad

May 26, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

I'm pretty sure I learned this recipe from Sara Moulton (remember when the Food Network used to be staffed with real chefs and we learned things?). I think she had a few more ingredients, maybe rice vinegar or sesame seeds? Either or both would work well, as would lemon zest. But I like the sweetness and simplicity of tender beans, a splash of nutty oil and the sharpness of raw garlic. It's become a summer staple for me, and I've even had one friend -- who hates all green things -- go back for seconds. To those cilantro-haters, I can only offer a mea culpa. You could substitute fresh parsley, but it wouldn't be the same. Use "young" green beans: not haricot vert, not thick, woody ones. (You can also make this with sugar snap peas, snow peas, peas, or a mix. This week, I added a handful of snow peas.) - Teri —Teri

Test Kitchen Notes

I kept the ingredients to the cook's list (mostly) and wasn't disappointed. The simplicity works, I've loved toasted sesame oil with green beans forever but the use of fresh cilantro with this veggie is a change up for me that is perfect. After dumping the beans into the dressing, I felt compelled to sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on the glistening green beans; what a nice look! Teri is right about wanting to eat these immediately; my husband kept snatching single beans every time he went by the platter! Right before serving, I ground a bit of crunchy sea salt over the beans for a little "pow" of saltiness I like with sesame oil. Thumbs up! - Amber Olson —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound young green beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro leaves (and stems, too, if they are tender)
  • salt
  1. Trim stems off beans and bring a pot of salted water to boil. (Salt the water generously, as if you were cooking pasta.)
  2. Blanche green beans, 1 to 3 minutes depending on thickness. You want them on the crunchy, almost still raw side, because you will not be shocking them in ice water.
  3. Smash garlic (with a meat pounder, if you like) and sprinkle with salt. Continue to chop till you have a paste.
  4. Put garlic, cilantro and sesame oil in your serving bowl.
  5. Drain beans and let sit for about 20 seconds to let some of the steam evaporate. Then dump into the salad bowl. Let sit for another 10 or 15 minutes, or until you can't wait any longer.
  6. Toss and serve.
Contest Entries

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  • MaureenOnTheCape
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  • Teri
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6 Reviews

MaureenOnTheCape December 28, 2012
Though this seems like an obvious summer choice, I made this as a Christmas dinner side dish and it was a light and fresh compliment to the rich flavors of the meat and potatoes. It's a keeper for any time of the year.
LynnATL April 4, 2012
Made this last night. So easy and so delicious. Now I'm wondering what other vegetables will shine when tossed with the garlic, cilantro, sesame oil mixture. YUM.
J-Dizzle August 18, 2010 the moment I have so many green and yellow beans in my garden! Thank you for the lovely yet simple (and I am sure very delicious) recipe! I will make this dish this evening! :o)
Teri June 12, 2010
Amber, thanks for the lovely review. Glad you enjoyed it!
lastnightsdinner May 28, 2010
Simple but elegant - my kind of dish!
Teri May 28, 2010
Oops, I spelled blanch like Tennessee Williams would. You get the idea.:)