A delicious dish to use the bounty of summer beans. It all combines for a sweet-salty-sour-spicy Asian palette together with the gamey lamb for an amazing, flavorful meal.
By Bowen Close
The markets around here are pretty astonishing, these days. I’m amazed at what new bounty there is each week, and how quickly things come in and out of season, and how frantic I sometimes feel about taking full advantage of everything while it’s around. When we lived in Southern California it always felt like I had plenty of time to get my fill of various items – but here, seasonality is accelerated. February doesn’t seem that far away in either direction, and it’s astonishing how different the produce landscape is now compared to the other side of the year. So each time, I leave the market barely able to carry my load, and we spend a few days puzzle-piecing together menus to use it all up.
This was one of those dishes, chosen to use up a rather large bag of green beans. I’d bookmarked the lamb-broccoli stir fry in Nigel Slater’s Tender from the first moment I opened it, and I could tell it would be the sort of dish to fit into my strategic summer menu-planning sessions. And on that point, not that just as I used green beans instead of the broccoli from the original recipe, this dish can readily accept most any vegetable-like thing you have. Just pay attention to the fact that the vegetables only go in the pan briefly at the end of cooking, so blanching or otherwise par-cooking is necessary unless you like quite a bit of crunch.
I loved this dish because it was delicious, but also because it was interesting – you don’t see a lot of lamb in stir-fries, or at least I don’t, and I certainly haven’t had a lot of lamb with Southeast Asian flavorings. The end result was a fairly strong lamb flavor, which I loved, but which also made it clear to me how some people find lamb to be a bit too much for their tastes. But I found the combination of the sweet-salty-sour-spicy Asian palette together with the gamey quality of the lamb to be quite nice, and I’d be interested in try it again with thinly sliced lamb filet instead of the ground meat.Print
Bowen Close believes that food should make people happy and healthy, and loves bringing together people with creative, delicious food made from the heart. She loves making farm-inspired, flavorful dishes with sustainable ingredients - whether that's a big plate of roasted veggies, a towering chocolate layer cake, or a cocktail utilizing backyard ingredients - and collects recipes and other food-related stories on her website, Bowen Appétit. She is a chef, cooking instructor, and food writer living in Southern California with her husband and fully stocked pantry.