Second to orange (all shades of it - including that obnoxious safety cone version), yellow is my favorite color. It's completely unflattering but I just adore it. Summer squash, lemons - it's the color of some of my favorite foods. An unsung yellow food that I love but never know how to cook are yellow wax beans. I've really only had them in salads mixed with green beans - it's as if folks think these beauties can't stand on their own.
A super splurge bender at Super H Mart (how DO you spend $80 there!? if you want to know, ask me) has our cupboards and fridge fully stocked with all things Asian. Yellow wax beans have great texture and a neutral enough taste that allows them to hang out with some pretty bold flavors. Quickly blanched, they retain their crunch even once dressed in this great miso vinaigrette. Feel free to add other herbs, chopped green onions, some crunchy sprouts, a touch of chopped red chili for heat. I need not say that if you have peanut allergies, please omit them or substitute for a type of nut you can eat.
Miso Wax Bean Salad - serves 4 as a side dish
- 1/2 pound (about 5-6 handfuls) fresh yellow wax beans - ends snipped
- 1 tablespoon dashi miso paste (this kind already has the dashi in it for soup - use whatever kind you have access to)
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1/3 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
- a handful chopped fresh cilantro
- fresh ground black pepper and salt, to taste
- Start a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Have a large bowl full of ice water on hand at the ready to stop the beans from cooking once blanched.
- While the water is coming to a boil, add your miso paste to a small mixing bowl. Drizzle in the rice wine vinegar and sesame oil and whisk it until the miso paste has incorporated into the other ingredients and the dressing is smooth. Taste dressing for salt level and adjust to your liking.
- When your water has come to a boil, drop the trimmed wax beans into the water. Blanch for 1-2 minutes. With a slotted spoon or tongs, pull them out and drop them into the ice bath - this will stop them from cooking further and getting soggy. Leave them in the ice bath for a minute or so then drain the beans thoroughly.
- On a serving platter, arrange the wax beans in an even layer. Drizzle the dressing over the beans. Top with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts. Grind a touch of fresh black pepper over the plate. Serve immediately - the beans will get too soggy if you wait to serve them once they're dressed.