Blistered Green Beans with Creamy Tahini and Fresh Hot Sauce
I find any vegetable that’s been grilled to a smoky, charred, blistered deliciousness to be one of the more perfect foods, but especially when it’s dragged through a creamy tahini sauce and doused with fresh hot sauce. The key to getting these beans perfectly charred without setting off your smoke alarm is cooking them as quickly as possible over high heat. Use a grill if one’s available, but for those without a grill (or good weather), this indoor skillet method works extremely well to char a variety of vegetables (slabs of zucchini, coins of eggplant, bulbs of spring onions . . .).
I love wider, flatter Romano beans here (more surface area = more char), but they are not always available, so just know that green beans or any other summer pole bean work, too.
- ¼ cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
- ½ red or green jalapeño pepper or habanero chile, seeds removed, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- Kosher salt
- Pinch of sugar
- ½ cup labne, full-fat Greek yogurt, or sour cream
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar
- 1 pound green beans or Romano beans, ends trimmed if you like
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
NOTE: This creamy tahini sauce is great underneath just about any vegetable—charred, roasted, grilled, or even raw. Make extra.
DO AHEAD: Creamy tahini can be made 5 days ahead and refrigerated.
- Toast the hazelnuts in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking the skillet pretty frequently, until they’re golden brown and starting to smell like browned butter, about 5 minutes; set aside.
- Combine the distilled vinegar, jalapeño, and garlic in a large bowl; season with salt and sugar, and set aside.
- In another bowl, combine the labne, tahini, and lemon juice, and season with salt. (I like this sauce on the thicker side—better for dipping—but if you like, you can thin it out with a bit of water to get a more drizzly consistency.)
- Heat a large cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet over high (yes— high!) heat. Toss the green beans with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Throw them into the hot skillet and cook, tossing frequently, until the green beans are lightly charred on all sides but still bright green and with some snap to them (army green = soft beans), about 4 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and, using tongs, add the beans to the bowl with the jalapeño mixture, tossing to coat. Let them sit in this for a minute or two to absorb some of that vinegary heat.
- Spoon some of the creamy tahini onto the bottom of a serving platter and top with the green beans and hazelnuts.
Reprinted from Dining In. Copyright © 2017 by Alison Roman. Photographs copyright ©2017 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.