Charred Green Beans with Lemon Verbena Pesto
Serves 2 to 4
11⁄2 pounds slender green beans
2 teaspoons olive oil
Lemon Verbena Pesto
1 cup fresh lemon verbena leaves (substitute fresh lemon balm leaves)
2 garlic cloves
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄4 cup pine nuts or English walnuts
1⁄2 cup olive oil
Fine kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Prepare a hot fire in your grill.
Toss the beans with olive oil and place in a perforated grill basket or wok set on a baking sheet.
For the Lemon Verbena Pesto, combine the lemon verbena, garlic, cheese, and nuts in a food processor and pulse to puree. Slowly add the olive oil with the processor running until the mixture thickens and emulsifies, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The pesto will keep in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days, or it may be frozen for up to 3 months.
Place the grill wok or basket directly over the fire and stir-grill, tossing the beans with wooden paddles or grill spatulas until crisp-tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the grilled beans to a large bowl and toss with about 1⁄4 cup of the Lemon Verbena Pesto or to taste.