Yet the cook who submitted Sesame Green Beans to the Family Circle magazine recipe collection vowed that her family members had been diehard green-bean haters before she tried Sesame Green Beans on them. Her blurb attached to the recipe indicated that her loved ones fairly beg for this vegetable now because of the new way of preparation. That moved Sesame Green Beans up to my must-try category. Traditional green-bean casserole got jettisoned for a new experiment (for now).
Unlike most recipes calling for fresh green beans, this one asked the cook to sauté the beans in olive oil rather than to steam or boil them. Garlic in the sauté process amped up the flavor. A brew of light soy sauce and water (sesame seeds added) tenderized the beans for about 10 minutes, with the skillet covered. Although the green of the beans darkened in the cooking process (one family member ultimately asked whether she was being served asparagus because of the darker color), it did nothing to detract from the end flavor result.
One night this week I tried Sesame Green Beans out on a "subcommittee" of the eventual end-recipients of Thanksgiving dinner. Would Thanksgiving magic be the same without my tried-and-true green-bean casserole?
All I know is that the bowl full of green beans disappeared quickly--not a single one remained for next day's leftovers!
Sesame Green Beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and tilt pan to coat. Stir in garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add green beans and sauté, about 2 minutes. Pour in soy sauce along with 1/4 cup water. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Reduce heat to medium and cover pan. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, shaking pan occasionally. Uncover and stir beans to coat. Sprinkle a few more sesame seeds over the top. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.