Thu Mar 26, 2020
When it comes to gift giving times, having a definite and public love for grilling can be a blessing and curse—on one hand, friends and family know the realm of presents that will delight me, but on the other hand, there's a limit to the grilling gadgets and gizmos I actually need. This has led me to amass some unused pieces of a equipment, and every now and then I decide to give on of those dormant items a whirl, like the grilling basket I used to make these green beans with chili, garlic, and lemon.
Green beans are a go-to side dish for me, but I don't usually associate them with grilling. More often than not, I cook them really quickly in a wok and then give them a unique finishing sauce or seasoning. Being at the onset of spring right now, I think I put together a seasonally fitting combination of flavors for these green beans that featured a bright citrus lemon base backed up by a garlicky sharpness and a touch of heat from chili flakes.
While I do love green beans and cook them on a fairly regular basis, the prep is never something I look forward too. I haven't really found a faster way to trim them than grab a handful, lining them up, and then chopping of each end. Even when cooking smaller amounts for only me and the wife though, it always feels a bit tedious to get through a batch of these beans, but you gotta do what you gotta do. At least once they're trimmed, the rest of the prep is simple with just a tossing with olive oil and seasoning of salt and pepper.
Now I got this grilling basket a long time ago, but I never quite found a good use for it—I'm pretty good at adapting most items to be grill-able without the need of specialized tools. When considering green beans though, this did seem to provide a decent solution to be able to cook them over a live fire without the fear of having large portions of beans fall between the grates.
The grilling basket wasn't totally perfect for this use though because, while it was easy to cook the beans on the grill, when I shook the thing to redistribute the beans for even cooking, some would start to slide out between the holes in the cage.
Still it was an overall success, and in just a few minutes over the blazing hot fire, I got beautifully blistered and charred beans that had the ideal crisp-tender doneness.
Once done, I dumped the beans back into the large bowl I used to season them, poured in the sauce, and tossed gently to coat. Then onto a plate they went to be enjoyed as a side.
These were certainly a very fitting transition into spring eats. The freshness of the beans themselves felt like the first taste of a season of lighter eating, and that was just amplified by the lemony seasoning that had a nice combo of contrasting bites from the garlic and chili. Altogether this was a full flavored and satisfying side dish, and I was happy it gave me an excuse to bust out one of those seldom used grilling gifts I've amassed over the years.
Grilled Green Beans with Chili, Garlic, and Lemon
- Prep Time:
- 10 Minutes
- Cook Time:
- 5 Minutes
- Total Time:
- 15 Minutes
- 6 servings
- For the Sauce
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of freshly minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- For the Green Beans
- 1 1/2 pounds green beans, washed and trimmed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- To make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together oil, garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, salt, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and black pepper. Set aside.
- To make the green beans: Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate and grill basket in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, toss green beans with oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer green beans to grill basket and cook, stirring or tossing occasionally, until beans are blistered and lightly charred about 5 minutes.
- Place green beans back to large bowl, add in sauce, and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Transfer green beans to a serving platter and serve immediately.