Ignore the wrinkles; roasted green beans are full of flavor

  • By Leah Eskin Chicago Tribune
  • Thursday, May 8, 2014 5:45pm
  • Life

Smooth: good. Wrinkled: bad. Standard policy in many a household, especially for linens and skin. Smooth suggests order, freshness, vitality. Wrinkled suggests ruin.

Exceptions abound: The crinkled face of the poppy. The creased and crumpled high-fashion frock. The green bean.

Fresh off the vine, the green bean offers a smooth hand and crisp bite. Steamed, it blushes verdant and vibrant. If not terribly flavorful.

Alternatively, the green bean can be roasted and stir-fried into wrinkly excess. In this state, the limp bean no longer speaks of order, freshness and vitality. With its brown spots and craggy skin, it suggests ruin.

One taste reveals the truth: that the slow-roasted, quick-fried, chili-spiked, sesame-warmed bean is an intensely flavorful delight. Inspiration enough to give up on ironing.

Wrinkled green beans

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed, rinsed and dried

3 teaspoons peanut oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon Asian red chili paste (see note, below)

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Roast: Toss beans with 2 teaspoons peanut oil and the salt. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and slide into a 425-degree oven. Roast, shaking once or twice, until beans are wrinkled and browned in spots, about 14 minutes.

Mix: Meanwhile, stir together soy, ginger, sesame oil and chili paste. Pour into a serving bowl.

Stir-fry: Measure remaining 1 teaspoon peanut oil into a wok or large, heavy skillet. Heat over medium-high. Add garlic and cook, stirring, a few seconds. Add beans. Toss.

Season: Scoop beans into the serving bowl. Toss to coat with sauce. Enjoy.

Note: Asian red chili paste is available in the grocery store, alongside other Asian products, or from specialty markets.

Serves: 4

More in Life

Co-owner Jason Parzyk carries two growlers to fill as he serves up beer at Lake Stevens Brewing Co. The first brewery in the city is celebrating one-year anniversary this weekend. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Beer of the Week: Lake Stevens Brewing Co.’s Sour Imperial

The beer has a depth and a complex flavor profile that goes beyond just another barrel-aged stout.

Legendary bluesman Curtis Salgado to play Arlington show

The Northwest blues-soul-funk-R&B living legend performs with Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons Nov. 18.

This year’s Snohomish Blues Invasion has an all-star lineup

Proceeds send the CD Woodbury Trio and the Benton-Townsend Duo to the International Blues Challenge.

Schack holiday show features Northwest watercolor artists

The free exhibit also will have three-dimensional works, such as jewelry, glass, ceramic and wood.

‘Three Billboards’ rooted in Frances McDormand’s rigid role

The actress of “Fargo” fame gives an Oscar-worthy performance in this black comedy on human nature.

‘The Hate U Give’ shows the burden of being black in America

Angie Thomas’ story of a teen girl covers the challenging experience of African Americans.

A merry Christmas concert with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

The Christian music stars will perform at Xfinity Arena with Jordan Smith of “The Voice” on Nov. 18.

‘Veep’ production postponed during Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ treatment

The 56-year-old star has been documenting her breast cancer fight on social media.

The Rucker Hill house is featured in the Twin Peaks series in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Living happily ever after in the ‘Twin Peaks’ house

Everett homeowners snagged a role in the recent reboot of the 1990s cult classic show.

Most Read