This week’s How to Eat Your BOX and recipe brought to you by Ashley Rodriguez.
I’m not one to eat green beans raw like my children although thinly sliced and added to green salads is a fine vegetal bite but the truth is my favorite way to eat green beans is when they are deeply tender and sweet.
This year I’ve discovered grilled green beans and that is now my favorite way to enjoy them.
Roasting is also a good choice when you don’t want to turn on the grill. Roast until thoroughly crisp and they’ve nearly shriveled down to nearly nothing. Dress in a simple vinaigrette and serve alongside anything.
When blanching green beans be sure to make the water taste of the sea. This will not only provide an adequate seasoning for the beans but also help to preserve the texture.
Raw, roasted, sautéed, grilled – I love it all.
Use a vegetable peeler to shave long thin strips of raw zucchini. Toss with basil, olive oil, lemon juice or red wine vinegar and a heap of halved cherry tomatoes. Finish with fresh feta or goat cheese if you’d like.
Grilled zucchini steaks make a lovely accompaniment to grilled chicken, steak, or fish. Top with a fine chop of fresh herbs (basil, mint and chives are nice options), lemon zest, and garlic. Thin with a bit of olive oil.
Whenever you grill zucchini brush with plenty of olive oil and be sure to use a good bit of salt.
Small tender zucchini is best for eating raw or for a quick sauté. Larger zucchini can tend to lose some of its sweetness but are perfect for baking.
Grilled Green Beans with Basil Gremolata and Parmesan Brittle
This recipe is from my next book – yet to be titled. It uses my current favorite cooking method for green beans; grilling. While warm and freshly charred the green beans are tossed in a fragrant basil gremolata (an herb sauce laced with lemon, garlic and sometimes anchovy). It’s then topped with crispy baked Parmesan that you will want to put on all the things.
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup basil leaves, finely minced
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 cup crumbled Parmesan Brittle (recipe below)
Bring a large stock pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Meanwhile fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Blanch the beans just until their color shifts, about 2 minutes. Shock them to halt the cooking process by adding them to the ice water. I find a spider – the tool often used when frying – is the best for retrieving the beans from the boiling water. Or tongs.
Drain the cooled beans and toss with the olive oil and sea salt. Grill over high heat until the beans are tender and deeply charred in parts.
In a large bowl combine the basil, lemon zest and juice, and garlic clove. Toss the warm beans in the gremolata. Taste a bean and add flake salt or more sea salt if needed.
Turn out the beans onto a platter and finish with the Parmesan Brittle.
*To prevent the beans from falling into the cavernous grill set a wire cooling rack (not rubber coated) over the grill grates and place the beans on the wire rack.