I still haven’t figured out why green beans are such a Thanksgiving staple when really, summer is their prime! As they flood the farmers market and the garden, I’m continually on the hunt for new ways to eat them, and have found these blistered, Spicy Green Beans with Sesame Walnuts to be a real winner.
You may know these long, green-hued beans as string beansor snap beans, terms used interchangeably to refer to the them.
Fresh green beans are incredibly versatile! Steamed and tossed in salted butter, or deep fried and crispy. Perhaps you love the crunch of raw beans in summer salads, or pickled. And I’m guessing you’ll turn on your oven even with the summer heat for them, to spark deep flavor through roasting.
Walnuts are adaptable too, and can be enjoyed raw or toasted, pureed into pestos and sauces, or seasoned for a sweet or savory kick to complement any dish (like this one!).
Most recently I’ve been making these Spicy Green Beans with Sesame Walnuts as a side dish to anything we grill, with gluten-free ramen, or on top of steamed rice (I LOVE rice and could eat it every single day).
By blistering the green beans in a hot skillet, they take on a delicious, smoky flavor that is balanced by the rich flavors of the sesame walnuts. You’ll hear them crackle and pop, signaling you’re on the right track.
Because the beans are blanched first, they keep their vibrant green color, even after they’re charred.
Once this step is complete, you’ll add the key components that give this dish all sorts of Asian-inspired, spicy flavor, including:
For added texture, the sesame walnuts (walnuts are the only nut to provide a significant amount of the plant-based omega-3 fatty ALA (2.5g/oz) are the perfect way to finish these greens beans. Toasted in the oven, with a light coating of sesame oil and sriracha, they’re absolutely delicious. Don’t just reserve them for this recipe! They’d be a great addition to salads, or as a soup garnish.
*Storage Tip: When you buy raw walnuts, be sure to store them in the refrigerator or freezer to preserve their freshness. Heat causes the fat in walnuts to change structure, which creates off odors and flavors, which is why you don’t want to store them in your pantry. Fresh walnuts smell mildly nutty and taste sweet.
These ingredients are a unique way to dress up green beans that still allows the full, fresh flavor of the beans to shine!