So OK, olive oil is not usually used in Chinese cooking. But what the heck, it’s my kitchen, my olive oil, my family and friends who will be eating the beans, and no one but me to blame for this gross misconduct and offence against all foods Chinese.
But in my own defense, olive oil is better for us then many oils that could be used, plus it tastes good. So to those who might suggest that I haven’t the right to change things up so drastically I say – sorry, but all things are fair in striving to provide great taste sensations for my family and friends. And frankly, what olive oil does for beans is almost remarkable. And I adore remarkable food. And yes, I know that most Chinese green bean recipes are heavy on the soy sauce, chili sauce, sesame oil thing. (And God bless them for it.) But what I wanted was a veggie side dish that didn’t include the mirepoix of Chinese food – garlic, ginger, and green onions.
I wanted a dish that simply featured the flavor of the vegetable. Especially because the evening I first served these beans, I served other dishes that all had that “Chinese food” flavor thing going. And as wonderful as that is, a flavor change is always welcome.
So that’s my story about these beans. And the best part, aside of course from the marvelous flavor of the beans, is the versatility of this simple dish. These beans can be served with almost any type of meat or seafood. And talk about quick and easy – nothing could be simpler.
So next time green beans catch your eye at the grocery store, bring some home and give this recipe a try. You are going to thank me. And speaking of thanks, I would like to thank Stacey from There’s a cook in my kitchen website who posted this recipe just for me. (Well not just for me, but I was the only one in my den/office when I found this recipe on the internet!)
- 1 lb. fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Spread the beans onto a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Pour on the olive oil and mix until all the beans are covered in oil. Sprinkle on a fair amount of salt and a generous amount of pepper.
Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the edges of the beans start to brown and the beans are not quite tender. Remove from oven and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.