Green beans were the first vegetable that I genuinely liked. My grandparents grew them in their Clara City garden, and my Grandma Meyer would pick them fresh, boil them until they were tender, and serve them with lots of butter and salt. Alongside walleye fried crispy in…butter.
What was not to like?
I still like them the same way—yay for butter-n-salt!
It’s also nice to change things up, like this dish which transforms green beans into a spicy, salty meal. A little pork, a little black bean-garlic sauce, a lot of sticky-savory deliciousness.
I realize as I type this: I’ve suggested the Asian equivalent of butter-n-salt. OK, maybe not much of a change. But it’s still so, so good.
Green Beans with Pork & Black Bean-Garlic Sauce
Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main course
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
1/4 lb. pork sausage or ground pork (I used pork breakfast sausage, specifically the pork breakfast sausage from Blue Gentian Farm)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. minced ginger
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. black bean-garlic sauce
2 tsp. Thai fish sauce
1/4 c. water
toasted sesame oil
Optional: chopped toasted almonds
Bring a saucepan of salted water to boil. When water boils, add green beans. After 3 minutes (water will not quite return to a boil), drain in a colander. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage and onion together. Stir in the minced ginger, red pepper flakes, black bean-garlic sauce, fish sauce, and water. Add green beans and toss to coat. Saute for 5-10 minutes, until water evaporates, the sauce thickens, and the beans become tender.
Transfer beans to a serving plate. Sprinkle with sesame oil and almonds (if using). Serve warm (not hot; the flavor will be better).