Weeknight Shorts: Seasonal Sides

Today we bid farewell to summer and anticipate the start of autumn tomorrow. However, we all know it never quite works out like that. We've had days chilly enough for warm coats and gloves already and we're likely to see some shorts weather before we're done with the month. So, too, our food shows the shifting of the seasons and garden goodies help fill in gaps we might have in our menus. Side salads, in particular, can be tossed together in minutes.

So when the garden hands you beans, give them a quick steaming and toss them with a sweet, spicy, salty dressing and dig in. Yeah, it's really that simple.

I like pairing this salad with anything grilled or, if you happen upon it on one of those chilly days, something roasted. Pork, chicken, beef, and more will play nicely, so smile about having a side dish that can come together in minutes and round out just about any meal.

As you can see, my version involved both green and yellow beans, but you can opt for whatever you have on hand. The dressing has it all and the light crunch of the lightly steamed beans is just perfect for bringing it to your plate!

Spicy Bean Salad

  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Bring a large pot of water with a steamer basket to a boil, add the green beans, and steam for about 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, sriracha and pepper. Pour this mixture over the beans, add the black sesame seeds, and toss well to coat. Serve warm or chilled.

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

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