Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Long Beans And Spinach Are Shocking In Two Side Dishes

Your long beans and spinach will be shocked—and blanched—when you prepare these two sesame-flavored side dishes.

Sauteed Long Beans with Garlic Ginger and Sesame

Photo: Megan Meyer/WFIU

After blanching and shocking the long beans, they get the fiery treatment with garlic, ginger and sesame oil.

Shock and Awe

One thing that we talk a lot about on Earth Eats is blanching and shocking. This is the process of flash-cooking vegetables in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes and then submerging them in ice water to seal in the nutrients and maintain the green color. “If you were to cook them in less than boiling water, they would turn a khaki army green, and they would also leech out a lot more of their minerals,” Chef Daniel Orr advises.

After blanching and shocking the veggies, they are ready to be added to a pan for cooking or they can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple days. The long beans we blanched and shocked are tasty in cold salads and even when you’re searching the fridge for a midnight snack.

Sauteed Long Beans with Garlic Ginger and Sesame

  • Long Beans Growing

    Image 1 of 4

    Long Beans are mainly a warm-season crop and can grow up to 2 1/2 feet long. They can be planted in a wide range of climatic conditions but are very sensitive to the cold.

  • Sauteed Long Beans with Garlic Ginger and Sesame

    Image 2 of 4

    Chef Daniel Orr picked these long beans from his garden in Columbus, Indiana. If you pick them when they’re tender enough, it’s like eating a pasta.

  • Sauteed Long Beans with Garlic Ginger and Sesame

    Image 3 of 4

    After blanching and shocking the long beans, they get the fiery treatment with garlic, ginger and sesame oil.

  • Sauteed Long Beans with Garlic Ginger and Sesame

    Image 4 of 4

    The finished dish of long beans, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots is served with lemon wedges and cherry tomatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch long beans, blanched and shocked
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • serve with lemon slices

Method:

  1. Blanch and shock the long beans.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, and long beans to a pan with hot oil.
  3. Add bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and cherry tomatoes.
  4. Season with toasted sesame seeds and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve family style with lemon slices.

More: Here’s another way to prepare long beans. You won’t be able to keep your hands off this snack-worthy dish.

Pumpkin Pie Tasting

Pumpkin Pie Plate

Photo: Jessie Wallner/WFIU

Natalie DeWitt displays the slices of the six different pumpkin pies she prepared for the tasting.

While pumpkin is often mistaken for a vegetable, it is actually a fruit. Pumpkin pies will be making appearances on dinner tables through the month of November, so Earth Eats wanted to hold a pumpkin pie tasting contest to find out what folks value in this very traditional dessert.

That’s where blogger Natalie DeWitt comes in. She admits to using her cooking to win friends and influence people. “When people know that you cook well, they want to get you know you better.”

She won a bunch of new friends at her recent pumpkin pie tasting event on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She brought 6 pies that included 6 unique pumpkin filling and 4 unique crusts to determine once and for all which is the best pumpkin pie recipe.

Her pies included a vegan pie, a pie made with homemade pumpkin purée, and a store-bought pumpkin pie.

More: Read the complete article about the pumpkin pie tasting event and see pictures of all the pies on our Flickr page.

Japanese Baby Spinach Salad

japanese-spinach-salad

Photo: Alycin Bektesh/WFIU

In the photo you'll notice an orange-colored sauce drizzled around the spinach. It's a delicious red pepper coulis that Chef Orr describes as "one of those secret ingredients you can keep around and it makes your cooking look snazzy and taste great.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, cut across grain
  • 3-4 scallions, cut thin
  • 1 1/2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Blanch the spinach: Cook it in boiling water until it wilts and then dunk the spinach into ice water using a strainer to keep the ice cubes out of your spinach leaves.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine.
  3. Add blanched spinach leaves (wring out as much water as you can before adding to the dressing) and toss until the dressing is well distributed.

In the photo you’ll notice an orange-colored sauce drizzled around the spinach. And if you’ve listened to episodes past, you’ll remember this stuff from everything from our Grilled Asparagus Salad to the Harrison Lake Garden Burger.

This is a red pepper coulis and it makes a great addition to this dish. Chef Orr describes it “one of those secret ingredients you can keep around and it makes your cooking look snazzy and taste great.” Find the recipe here and have fun decorating your next dish with it!

News Stories In The Podcast:

Donate Now

If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider pledging to WFIU during our 2010 Fund Drive. Thank you!

Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, and for more Earth Eats updates, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media