Here’s a simple, hearty vegetable side dish that you can toss together in minutes—as long as you have some romesco sauce and fresh green beans on hand. The recipe takes advantage of two things, one a technique, the other a powerful and versatile condiment.
The technique is Kenji’s broiler method for “dry-frying” green beans. Real dry-frying is a two-stage wok technique that involves frying something first in a generous amount of oil, and then stir-frying a second time with seasonings. As Kenji points out in his article, that isn’t always practical for the home cook. The broiler, he found, makes for an acceptable substitute, producing charred and blistered beans with a minimum amount of oil and effort required. After that, you can toss the beans with whatever flavorings you desire (check out Kenji’s recipe for Sichuan dry-fried green beans for another example).
In this recipe, we dress the cooked beans with Spanish romesco sauce, a deeply flavorful condiment made from ground almonds, bread, tomato, garlic, dried peppers, olive oil, and sherry vinegar. It’s earthy, fruity, rich, and slightly tart. Typically thick enough to act as a dip, the romesco here is thinned with enough olive oil to turn it into something like a hearty vinaigrette. In the end it should still be on the thick side, but loose enough to coat the beans.
A little minced parsley finishes the side dish off, adding a pop of fresh green flavor in every bite. Try it alongside roast chicken, beef, pork, or even a robust piece of fish like pan-seared salmon.