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Dinner Tonight! | The Lighter Side

Shocked Beans

May 31, 2000|DONNA DEANE

Steaming is a simple way of cooking vegetables without adding butter or oil. Although you can buy special steamers, you can do it with nothing more than a pot, a lid and a rack.

Place the rack in a pan and add at least 1 inch of water. Cover the pan and heat the water until you see the steam begin to rise.

Cook the green beans just until they are tender yet crisp. Depending on the age of the beans and their size, this will take from 6 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully; overcooking by even a few minutes can cause them to lose their bright color and become a dull green.

As soon as they are done cooking, "shock" them in a bowl of ice water to completely stop the cooking and preserve the color and crispness. Be sure to pat them dry afterward so the dressing will adhere.

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Deane's book "Low Fat Kitchen" includes more than 100 recipes created for this column. To order, call (800) 246-4042. The $20.45 price includes shipping and sales tax.

Summer Spa Salad

Active Work Time: 15 minutes Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes

A bit of water mixed into the oil stretches the dressing without adding calories.

1 pound green beans

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

Coarse salt

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped dill

* Remove stem end of beans. Rinse under running water. Heat water in steamer until steaming. Add beans in even layer in bottom of steamer. Steam beans until tender yet crunchy and bright green, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove beans from steamer and add to bowl of ice water to shock. Drain and pat dry.

* Combine shallot, olive oil, 1 tablespoon water and rice vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Add to beans and toss well to coat. Arrange beans on serving platter. Sprinkle over coarse salt, then parsley and dill.

4 servings. Each serving: 67 calories; 229 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 9 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 1.28 grams fiber.

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