Thursday, July 9, 2009
Green Beans with Sesame-Miso Sauce
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Farmers, gardeners and CSA shareholders know that when a crop comes in there's no stopping it. That's fine when it's something the family loves, but more difficult when it's a hard sell vegetable. My crew doesn't hate green beans but they don't appear on any of their last meal requests either. To not serve them isn't an option and I've learned the problem can be partially solved by varying the way they are cooked and presented. Green beans are rarely cooked to crisp tender perfection. Overcoming the tendency to over or under cook them nearly solves the problem, but it's also necessary to vary the way in which they're served if you want to prevent palate fatigue. It's possible to sauce beans in a healthy fashion that appeals to the eyes as well as a tired palate. The recipe for green beans with sesame-miso sauce comes from Hiorhiko Awano who is the chef at Kirakutei Restaurant in Paris, France. It costs pennies to serve and it's very easy to make. I love to serve this dish for buffets, potlucks and picnics. It holds up well and contains no mayonnaise, so it can sit without causing harm to it or you. Here's the recipe.
Green Beans with Sesame-Miso Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 pound green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup white miso
2 tablespoons ponzu sauce (see cook;s notes)
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds + seeds to garnish
1 teaspoon dark Asian sesame oil
3 tablespoons mirin or cooking sake
1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until beans are crisp but tender. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking and set color. Drain when cooled.
2) Place rice vinegar, miso, ponzu sauce, ginger, sugar, sesame seeds, sesame oil and mirin in the jar of an electric blender; process until smooth.
3) Transfer beans to a mixing bowl. Drizzle with sauce; toss gently and taste for seasoning. Drain again. Mound beans in a bowl or on a platter. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve at room temperature. Yield: 4 servings.
Recipe adapted from The Ethnic Paris Cookbook.
Cook's Notes: Ponzu sauce is usually available in the Asian food section of large grocery stores. If you cannot find it, use 1 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 tablespoon lemon juice as an emergency replacement.