A mince of lemon zest, garlic and parsley, gremolata is the traditional final tease of Milan’s osso buco. That same mix brings a double impact to green beans. I used to first boil the beans, then reheat them with the gremolata, until Mediterranean food authority Paula Wolfert pointed out how silken beans become when they’re left to cook slowly in a skillet. Best of all, it’s one less pan to wash.
Cook to Cook: You’ll need 2 large, shallow pans for the beans. Ideally they should be straight-sided sauté pans, but big slope-sided skillets work, too. Improvise lids with cookie sheets or foil.
2. As the beans cook, make the gremolata. Put the garlic and 1/3 cup water in a coffee mug and microwave 1 minute, or simmer in a small saucepan to 1 to 2 minutes (this mellows the garlic just a little). Then, in a food processor, mince together the garlic (with its liquid), lemon zest, and parsley. Salt and pepper the mixture to taste.
3. When the beans are tender, uncover them, cook off any liquid in the pan, and turn them into a serving bowl. Toss the beans with the gremolata and the grated cheese.
Copyright © Lynne Rossetto Kasper, 2010
Sandor Katz lives to ferment; it’s his life’s work. The author of The Art of Fermentation shares how to make kombucha at home.