It’s raining in the desert. Big, heavy drops of rain, the same kind that earlier this summer, turned our street into a river and carried away recycling bins, piles of brush and branches that were out for pickup, and nearly a car or two. Not this time, though. Today, it’s just a heavy, peaceful sound on the tin roof of my back porch.
The rain and clouds left me just enough light to take photographs of these green beans. See, in our house, we know how to treat green beans right. We don’t boil or steam them until they’re mushy and drained of color. We don’t stir them into canned cream-of-mushroom soup and top them with deep fried (canned) onions. No.
Instead, we blister them in the oven, in a crust of Himalayan sea salt. Then we drizzle them with a simply, sticky-sweet balsamic reduction dripping in umami flavors. They keep their tenderness without turning chewy or tough, they have a marvelous flavor, and they taste nothing like the steamed green beans your worst childhood nightmares, lukewarm and pale.
You see, I made these for dinner tonight. But I made them in mid-afternoon to catch the light for photographs, and we didn’t end up having them for dinner. They didn’t last long enough.
Roasted, blistered green beans crusted with sea salt and drizzled with a silky balsamic reduction.
- 1 pound green beans
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
Preheat oven to 450F.
Wash the green beans, trim off the ends, and spread out on a parchment-covered baking sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Don't use too much, but use a little more than you think you'll need.
Bake for 15 minutes.
While the green beans are baking, make your balsamic reduction by simmering the vinegar on medium-low heat until reduced. You'll want to end up with a little less than half of the volume you started with. Remove from heat when it's reduced, a little syrupy, and a little sticky. Drizzle over the finished green beans.