Green beans—both the green and yellow varieties (also known as wax beans)—have been a highlight in what has otherwise been a bit of a ho-hum CSA season. Case in point: Nibbling through two heads of lettuce each week for eight weeks gets tedious.
So I’ve grown obsessed with an easy preparation using sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds to make these standout string beans come alive.
Featured Recipe: Sesame String Beans With Red Bell Peppers
Sesame oil is incredibly flavorful, so a little bit goes a very long way. If you like your dishes on the spicy side, opt for hot sesame oil over the regular version.
- 1 lb string beans, washed and trimmed (or use 1 head bok choy, cleaned, leaves removed and reserved, stems cut lengthwise into ½-inch strips)
- 1 red bell pepper, washed and seeded, cut lengthwise into ½-inch strips
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Salt to taste
Heat a large sauté pan over a medium-low flame; add the sesame seeds and toast them in the dry pan until they’re light brown, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside. In the same pan, bring 4-6 cups of water to a boil. Steam the green beans for 4-5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain. Heat the sesame oil over medium heat until it simmers, and add the bell peppers and green beans (or bok choy stems). Using tongs, move the vegetables around the pan to coat with oil; increase heat to medium high. Stirring frequently, cook the vegetables until they begin to soften and the peppers give off some of their liquid, about 7-10 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Transfer vegetables to a dish. Sprinkle reserved sesame seeds over the top of the dish to serve.
So easy, right? You can also try experimenting with different vegetables such as celery, broccoli, or asparagus. Speaking of other vegetables, here’s what I brought home this week:
Week 14 Haul
- Bok choy
- Wax beans
- Bell peppers
What I Made (Italics represent CSA vegetables used)
Here are the meals I whipped up this week, along with a bonus side dish recipe:
- Friday Taco Night: Fresh tomato salsa with chiles; sautéed corn and tomato with jalapeño and lime; refried beans; chili powder-seasoned ground chicken, corn tortillas, shredded lettuce, diced onion, sliced jalapeños
- Sunday Night Steak: Steak pizzaiola; radishes with their greens and avocado with lemon and salt; bread with seasoned olive oil for dipping (steak recipe featured in Week 7)
- Weeknight Asian-Inspired Stir Fry Dish: Sesame bok choy with bell peppers; lime and ginger marinated pork stir fry; jasmine rice
- Weeknight Roasted Pork Feast: Roasted pork loin; roasted carrots with cumin seed (see recipe below); couscous
- Weeknight Fridge Clean-out: Grilled chicken; sesame wax beans and bell peppers; arugula salad
Bonus Recipe: Cumin-Spiced Roasted Carrots
These roasted carrots have become a favorite on nights when I don’t have a lot of time or energy for dinner prep. Cumin seed is the key —don’t substitute the powdered stuff!
- 1 bunch carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1″ sticks
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place carrots in a baking dish. Using your hands, toss them with olive oil, cumin seeds, and salt. Roast for 20 minutes.