Most foods are improved by an introduction to charcoal and smoke, and that includes those that hang from beanstalks. The only trick is not losing half of your green beans to the fire, a job made easier with one of those mesh cages for grilling smaller foods. Me, I just do my best to keep them perpendicular to the grates, and I have my average casualties down to about three beans. A quick toss in a vinaigrette spiked with spicy North African chile paste, aka harissa, really livens things up; in a pinch, you could use the same amount of Sriracha, or just Tabasco with a chopped garlic clove. Or, if you prefer, skip the heat—these are still really good.
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Harissa
- Preheat a grill or large grill pan to high.
- Prepare a large bowl of ice water; set aside. Fill a large saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Season the water generously with salt. Add the beans and blanch until just crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Drain, and plunge the beans into the ice water for 2 minutes to stop the cooking. Drain the beans and pat dry with kitchen towels.
- Put the beans in a large bowl and toss with the vegetable oil. Using tongs, arrange in a single layer on the grill and cook until lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, harissa, and l/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
- Add the warm beans, toss, and serve warm or at room temperature.