Five-ingredient green bean salad

By Teri
May 26, 2010
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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


Food52 Review: 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 OlsonThe Editors

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 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.

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