This method of cooking beans is referred to in Chinese Cuisine as “twice-cooked”. This recipe has European origins.
For the pesto: Rinse 1 bunch of basil and remove all the leaves. Peel and mince 1 large clove of garlic.
Puree the garlic and the basil with 2 T. olive oil, 2 T. red wine vinegar, 1 t. paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper.
Trim 1/2 lb. green beans
Heat 1 T. safflower oil in a cast iron skillet and cook half the beans on medium heat, without stirring for two minutes. They should begin to blister. Stir and cook another 7-9 minutes, until they are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Set them aside and repeat with the other half of the beans.
Allow the beans to cool slightly, then toss with the pesto.