15 August 2012

Sriracha Apricot Grilled Green Beans

I am an enormous fan of unexpected side dishes at a barbecue.  Typically, you walk into a venue and it's "hey there, potato salad....hello corn on the cob...how's it going mixed fruit?"  Delicious and lovely, but expected.  To break the mold, I make it my goal to come up with a side that is familiar enough to appeal to the masses while still providing a new and enticing flavor.  Here I present you with one of those sides, crowd pleasing yet twisted just enough to cause both a double-take and a second serving.

Growing up, green beans were my summer chore.  Playing with the two little neighbor girls was fine and dandy, but only after my daily quantity of beans had been met.  While I appreciate the life lesson that was instilled, green beans with bacon has been ruined forever for my palate.  But I am never one to throw out the baby with the bathwater.  You still have an amazing, hearty and versatile veggie.  

This dish is born not of divine inspiration, but rather of refrigerator contents.  Perhaps that is why I love it so much.  Two of our household staples are Sriracha (aka Rooster sauce) and apricot jam.  Both are necessary for various dishes, such as perogies, veggie pizza, breakfast muffins and marinades.  Therefore, a dinnertime experiment turned into a new household staple when I combined the two for this extremely tasty side.

Roasted pistachios are not optional.  Don't go there unless you're allergic to nuts.  Their salty and savory flavor brings an essential piece to this dish.  And the while they work well without, the upgrade of the dried apricots is also worth taking.  When grilled with the green beans, they develop this lovely and unbelievable caramelized quality, intensifying their flavor and breaking up the heat a bit.  They also  provide an amazing chewy texture that is not to be forgotten.  So to knock a couple of heat-seeking socks off at your next barbecue, bring this dish to the table.

Sriracha Apricot Green Beans (4 servings)
  • 12 oz green beans
  • 8 tbs Apricot Jam or Preserves (we used sugar free)
  • 4 tbs Sriracha (3 for your meeker palates)
  • 4 tsp pickled ginger, finely diced
  • 2/3 c dried apricots, halved and sliced (fresh would work as well)
  • 1/2 roasted pistachios 
Preheat your grill to medium-high.  Thoroughly wash and remove ends from your green beans, then set aside on a paper towel to dry slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the apricot jam, Sriracha and pickled ginger and mix together until well combined.  Add the green beans and mix until well coated.  Stir in chopped apricots.  

Spray a grill basket with non-stick and add green bean mixture.  Grill for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until green beans are barely underdone.  Remove and let rest for 2-3 minutes so green beans can finish cooking.  Garnish with pistachios and serve along side a salmon burger, pork chop or other grilled protein of choice.

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