These green beans are an excellent choice for a summer picnic.

SERVES 4

1 pound green beans

3 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tablespoon tamari or other soy sauce

2 teaspoons Chinese rice vinegar or other vinegar

1 teaspoonВ Asian sesame oilimage

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

  1. Snap the ends off the green beans. Wash and drain them.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Blanch the green beans for 5 minutes, or just until tender yet still crisp. Test by tasting one.
  3. Drain and immediately immerse them in cold water for a few minutes to stop further cooking. Drain again very well.
  4. In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid combine the peanut oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and pepper. Shake well.
  5. Put the green beans in a serving dish and pour over the sauce. Toss well.
  6. Place the sesame seeds in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. (Be careful not to burn them. Once they become hot they smoke slightly and exude a noticeable aroma, and at this point they are done.)
  7. Immediately pour onto the green beans and toss well again. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours before serving. Serve cool, not cold.