French Beans with Garlic, Cumin and Toasted Sesame

French green beans are one of my favorite side dishes. They’re light, go well with most foods and make me feel content that I’m getting a healthy vegetable on my plate. I usually make them Italian style with garlic, tomatoes and olive oil, but this time I opted to satisfy my craving for something Asian.

I had some lovely fresh garlic, sesame seeds that were already toasted, ground cumin, and plenty of good toasted sesame oil.  Other than the beans, this is all you really need to make the dish. I think a bit of fresh ginger would be nice, too.

It’s a super-quick side dish to any meal and perfect for late weeknights when you’re in the mood to smell wonderful scents coming from you kitchen. It’s good relaxation cooking.

Here’s what you’ll need to get there:

Garlicky Green Beans with Cumin and Toasted Sesame

Serves 4


2-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound uncut French green beans
1/4 cup roughly chopped garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2-4 tablespoons toasted sesame
drizzle toasted sesame oil

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the garlic and brown lightly, watching the heat to make sure it doesn’t burn. Add the green beans and ground cumin immediately then mix up the garlic so it doesn’t sit at the bottom and burn or become bitter.

Cook the green beans by lightly sautéeing and add a little water, if necessary. Cover the pan to allow the beans to steam cook, about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, dry roast the sesame seeds by heating a small un-greased pan and then adding the sesame seeds. Turn frequently with a wooden spoon or spatula to move them around, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the seeds in the pan.

When the beans have finished or reached the desired consistently (if you like crunch in your beans, you may want to cook them less), turn off the heat and sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds on top.

Place in serving dish and drizzle with toasted sesame oil just before serving.


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