Charred Green Beans w/Almond Marjoram Pesto (Italian)
|1/2 cupfresh marjoram leaves; or use oregano leaves|
|1/2 cupfresh basil leaves|
|1/2 cupextra virgin olive oil|
|1/2 cupblanched almonds; sliced|
|3 tablespoonsextra virgin olive oil; plus 2 tablespoons|
|2 lbsfresh young green beans; trimmed|
|5 clovesgarlic; halved|
|1 smallfresh hot chili; cored, seeded & minced or 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes|
|6 tablespoonsred wine vinegar|
Charred Green Beans w/Almond Marjoram Pesto (Italian) Preparation
1. First, make the pesto: Combine the garlic, marjoram, basil & salt in a food processor. Process until chopped. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream. Add the almonds & pulse to form a smooth paste. Taste for seasoning, then set aside. (This pesto will keep for 1 week in the fridge if the surface is covered with a layer of oil.)
2. Heat a 12 inch to 14 inch cast-iron skillet over high heat. When it's hot enough to evaporate a bead of water, swirl 3 tablespoons of the oil around in the skillet. Add half of the green beans & sauté them for several minutes, stirring constantly, until they are just tender & starting to turn dark brown in spots. This should look & feel like a stir-fry.
3. Transfer the beans to a plate, but keep the pan on the heat. Repeat with the remaining beans & set them aside.
4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Add the garlic & chili. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the vinegar & the sugar. Let it sputter for 10 seconds. Then return the still-warm beans to the skillet & stir until they are coated & hot.
5. To serve, spread a thin layer of the almond pesto on a platter. Then pile the beans up & spoon more pesto over the top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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