Sydney-based chef and author Lennox Hastie of Firedoor published a long, passionate ode to the art of cooking with fire that has us raring to crank up the grill. Pair these grilled green beans with a rich almond cream for a savory-smoky experience that’s thoroughly satisfying.
Green beans are ideally suited to grilling as their fleshy texture results in a lightly charred and smoky exterior, while they retain ternderness within. Dressed simply in lemon, olive oil and salt, they are enriched by a roasted almond cream, which is lightened with cucumber juice for a light, summery finish.
- 1 pound 2 ounces green beans, topped and tailed
- sea salt
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3 1/2 ounces pea tendrils
- 3 1/2 fluid ounces fruit, mild extra-virgin olive oil, such as arbequina or koroneiki
- A few white garlic flowers
- 1 cup blanched almonds
- 2 garlic cloves, skin on
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 1/4 fluid ounces almond oil
- Juice of 1/4 telegraph (long) cucumber, skni removed
- 2 tablespoons cava vinegar or white-wine vinegar (or to taste)
For the green beans
Prepare your embers.
Prepare the almond cream. Split and roast the almonds in a dry cast-iron pan over the fire until golden brown and lightly smoky. Toss at regular intervals to ensure the almonds are evenly toasted.
Roast the garlic. Wrap the garlic cloves in aluminium foil. Place in the hot ashes at the edge of the fire and leave to roast for approximately 20 minutes until soft. Carefully remove from the ashes and, once cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic from its skin.
In a blender, combine ⅓ cup of the roasted almonds, the almond milk, almond oil and roasted garlic until creamy. Add another ⅓ cup of the almonds and blend to a crunchy texture. Add the cucumber juice, and season with vinegar. Reserve.
Place the grill cooling rack over intense embers. Grill the beans for 2 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until lightly charred yet still green.
Transfer the beans to a clean bowl, season with sea salt, add the lemon zest and juice, the pea tendrils and the olive oil. Toss well.
Divide the almond cream between serving plates, place the grilled beans on top, finish with the remaining toasted almonds and garlic flowers. Serve immediately.