Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Skillet Green Beans with Orange

Tonight somehow ended up being all about the Lee Brothers.  Actually, this week has been very Lee Brothers and Susan Spicer-inspired thus far.  We have tried two recipes from each of the cookbooks (and I am planning on making one more Lee Brothers dish later in the week if I happen across some nice wild salmon at Fairway or Whole Foods).  I resolved earlier this summer to use the cookbooks on our bookshelf more often, particularly those cookbooks that I have neglected in the past.  Both the Lee Brothers and the Susan Spicer cookbooks were new to us this year and up until this week we had only made one recipe from each.  Since tonight's soup was so light and fresh, I wanted to make something with a little more substance as a side than a simple salad.  I also wanted to keep the meal vegetarian, so that limited things a little.  We had some green beans and I saw this recipe in the same Lee Brothers cookbook, so I figured those would be a nice accompaniment to our gazpacho.  

These green beans were good, but not amazing.  I liked the idea of blistering the beans to give them some char, but I thought that the amount of orange zest and overall orange flavor was a little overwhelming.  I wish there had been a little heat or just a little something to cut through the citrus flavor.  But with all of that said, I enjoyed the dish and we cleaned the plate.  And to be perfectly honest, how amazing can green beans really be?

Recipe after the jump!

Skillet Green Beans with Orange
Simple Fresh Southern: Knock Out Dishes with Down Home Flavor
By Matt Lee and Ted Lee

1 large navel orange
2 tsp canola oil
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
3/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tbsp white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, or rice vinegar
2 tbsp evoo
black pepper

Finely grate zest of the orange.  Set aside.  Segment the orange and keep the sections and juice in a small non-reactive bowl.

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil over high heat, swirling it around the pan so it coats the bottom thinly and evenly.  When the oil begins to smoke, add the beans and scatter 1/2 tsp salt over them.  Cook, stirring only every 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until the beans are half-blistered and blackened, about 8 minutes.  Transfer the beans to a serving platter or bowl.  Scatter orange segments over the green beans.  Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of orange zest over the beans and oranges.

Add the vinegar, evoo, and remaining 1/4 tsp salt to the bowl of orange juice.  Whisk until thoroughly combined.  Pour dressing over the beans.  Toss and season to taste with s&p, and remaining orange zest.

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