We've been obsessed with Szechuan-style green beans ever since the early days of Betelnut in San Francisco. Well, with a little kitchen creativity, they can also be a healthful side dish. A mere smidgen of canola oil is melded with fragrant chile, garlic, sherry vinegar and soy sauce before being tossed with oven-roasted beans. The real trick? Squeezing the juice of freshly grated ginger over the legumes for added flavor--without additional fat. Thus, our obsession deepens.
Szechuan Green Beans
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 servings
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon canola oil
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (less if you prefer a gentler heat)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled (use the edge of a teaspoon to scrape off the skin) and grated
1. Adjust the oven rack to the highest position and preheat the oven to broil. On a rimmed baking sheet, add the green beans. Broil until the beans are almost tender and are speckled with black spots, rotating the baking sheet halfway through cooking, about 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn the beans out into a large bowl. Set aside.
2. In a small skillet set over medium-low heat, add the oil. Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they turn a slightly darker shade of red, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and immediately add the sherry vinegar. Swirl the skillet, then stir in the soy sauce.
3. Pour the garlic-vinegar sauce over the green beans. Toss well. Place the ginger pulp in your palm and squeeze the ginger over the beans to extract the juice; discard the pulp. Toss the ginger juice with the beans and serve. Calories per Serving: 49; Sodium: 91mg; Total Carbohydrate: 9g; Fiber: 3g; Fat: 1g