There’s so much green here that you’d think it would be instantly spurned, but it was/is a palpable hit. I wanted something to lift the beans out of their ordinary OK-but-blandness. Celery was a natural partner—it does the job for Chinese food, and adds crunch. Parsley provides another boost, completing a delicious one-two punch.
Notes: If the celery ribs are thicker than your thumb, slice them down the middle before cutting them sideways, at a 45-degree angle, in 1/4-inch slices; if you’ve washed them, dry them with a paper towel (that way they won’t splatter when you put them in the pan—same goes for the beans, cut in 1-inch lengths, and parsley). Also, be sure the oil is hot before putting the vegetables in, which seals them and keeps them crisp. Salt and pepper if you wish, but I do without, to keep the fresh, green liveliness intact.
serves 4 as a side dish)
1 pound green beans, trimmed and sliced
2 ribs of celery, sliced
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
The beans and celery will cook best if they're at room temperature. In a medium bowl, mix the vegetables well. In a skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat till it begins to shimmer. Put the vegetables in and stir well for 5-6 minutes (the beans go quite green). Add parsley, stir in, cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and serve.