Play up your sides, dress it, add little niceties to refine a simple vegetable’s elegance. Coax out the crunchy quality of an otherwise incomplex green bean with habanero harissa and crispy red onions. Texture and spice are the “make-up” to a plain bean, like what eyeliner and red lipstick are to a clean, bare face – except here it’s all about the flavors, not only the look. Julienned Persian cucumbers step into the scene, and when doused in a lime vinaigrette, a perfect balance to a citrus closing is guaranteed. Brooklyn, EAT your heart out!
Green Beans with Persian Cucumbers, Habanero Harissa, and Crispy Red Onions
- green beans, 2 handfuls, blanched
- 1 Persian cucumber, julienned with a papaya peeler
- 5 grape tomatoes, halved
- canola oil, 3 – 4 tbsp
- flour, 2 tbsp
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 lime, freshly squeezed
- habanero Harissa, (recipe coming soon, use store-bought in the meantime)
- Maldon sea salt
- extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
Cut ends off beans to create uniform pieces. Keep some of the cut off ends to garnish the plate later. Boil a pot of water, enough to fit two handful of green beans. Set aside a bowl of ice water. When the pot of water begins to boil, blanch the green beans for 30 seconds then transfer immediately to the bowl of ice water. When sufficiently cooled, drain and set aside.
In the meantime, heat up the canola oil and dredge thinly sliced red onions in flour, tapping off excess flour. Fry in canola oil until golden and crispy. Remove from oil and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil. Sprinkle lightly with Maldon sea salt. Now, using a papaya peeler, julienne the Persian cucumber and place in a bowl. Add halved grape tomatoes to the bowl. Add a generous swig of extra virgin olive oil and the juice of half a lime. Mix together, add Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let that sit for a minute. Now, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter and quickly sauté the green beans for one minute on high heat, stirring frequently. You just want to coat lightly with butter to add flavor.
Spread a generous spoonful of habanero Harissa across the plate. Place the green beans on top diagonally. Grab some of the julienned Persian cucumbers allowing the excess lime vinaigrette to drip back into the bowl and put it on top and across the green beans. Top off with crispy red onions. Sprinkle plate with red chile flakes and garnish with the chopped off ends of green beans and tiny lime wedges.