January always signals a new beginning — and at Tasting Table’s Good Taste edition, we’ve christened this month a Fresh Start.
The recipes we’re developing (and enjoying) in our Test Kitchen right now highlight fresh ingredients full of nutrients, such as fiber and antioxidants, which are cooked up in surprising ways. Thoughtful eating doesn’t have to be boring, and we have plenty of tricks up our sleeves.
Case in point: our Szechuan Green Beans, a classically decadent, oil-heavy dish that we lightened up by roasting the beans instead of pan-frying them. One of our editors came up with the ingenious idea to grace the legumes with beneficial ginger, adding a zing of antioxidants.
Szechuan Green Beans
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 servings
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (less if you prefer a gentler heat)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled (use the edge of a teaspoon to scrape off the skin) and grated
Adjust the oven rack to the highest position and preheat the oven to broil. On a rimmed baking sheet, add the green beans. Broil until the beans are almost tender and are speckled with black spots, rotating the baking sheet halfway through cooking, about 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn the beans out into a large bowl. Set aside.
In a small skillet set over medium-low heat, add the oil. Once the oil starts to shimmer add the red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally, and cooking until they turn a slightly darker shade of red, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and immediately add the sherry vinegar. Swirl the skillet, and then stir in the soy sauce.
Pour the garlic-vinegar sauce over the green beans. Toss well. Place the ginger pulp in your palm and squeeze the ginger over the beans to extract the juice; discard the pulp. Toss the ginger juice with the beans and serve.
Get more recipes like these, along with recommendations for responsibly sourced kitchen staples, biodynamic wines, and wellness-minded travel, when you sign up for Tasting Table’s Good Taste.
How are you planning a fresh start in 2013? Tell us about it in the comments below.