by Cat, Oct 2007 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
The first time I tried this, I used long green beans from my garden, and seared them in olive oil. It took a long time for them to get tender and I started to lose heart. But I’m so glad I hung in there because it was absolutely divine. It gives the veggie a slightly different flavor when cooked this way. However, olive oil will begin to break down and become oxidized under the prolonged exposure to high heat, so I’ve switched to using lard.
If you want to use olive oil, use a lower heat setting and let them cook longer to tenderness.
Seared Green Beans, Broccolini or Asparagus Spears
Use long fresh green beans or fresh asparagus spears for this flavorful side dish. Or broccolini (baby broccoli) cut into spears with the long stems. A similar method can also be used for other veggies, rather like a stir fry.
Garlic adds a nice flavor, but it tends to burn or scorch from the high heat. Garlic scapes work much better. If you want to use crushed garlic cloves, add them, with a little water, when the green veggies are almost done, and lower the heat to a simmer.
What are garlic scapes? This is the central stem of the garlic plant that forms a bloom at the end if you let it go that long. Unfortunately, that bloom robs energy from the bulb so that the cloves don’t grow so big, so most people cut off the scapes when they start to grow out in curl into loops (as in the photo, left, from Wikimedia Commons). They have a light garlic flavor mixed with the ‘green’ favor.
One note: Use fresh veggies. Frozen veggies will not work.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- fresh green beans or asparagus spears
- lard or coconut oil
- garlic scapes or cloves
- Unrefined sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 – 2 Tbsp filtered water (optional)
- heavy saute pan, wok, or skillet
- Wash veggies and dry with cotton dish towel.
- If using garlic cloves, peel the cloves and crush with the flat blade of a knife or the palm of your hand. If using scapes, cut them in 1″ lengths on the diagonal, and trim off the long point from the bloom spear (it’s too tough for eating).
- If using beans, trim off the ends. If using asparagus, trim off the woody stem (holding each spear near the ends, bend until it breaks, and toss the woody end). If using broccolini, separate into individual bloom-heads and the attached related stem, leaving leaves attached.
- Heat lard in pan over high heat. Add prepped veggies and garlic scopes (if using), stirring or tossing to coat with the oil. Cook, stirring or tossing often so all sides get seared, until sear marks appear and they begin to become tender.
- About halfway through the cooking, add the garlic cloves (if using) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons filtered water, to help the garlic steam done.
- The beans/asparagus should be bright green, and slightly limp, with blackened spots on them. Turn off heat and, using tongs, transfer veggies to a serving dish.
- Cat’s recipe collection