Ann Cricchi of Fort Mill is a fan of the tempura green beans at Local Dish, a colorful café in her town.
“I love theirs and I’m definitely not a Southerner,” she writes. “I think the appeal may be that there is a cooking twist or an unusual ingredient that provides the special taste and texture that’s so appealing to me.”
Local Dish owner John Colwell describes his menu as American with a little bit of Southern thrown in. The tempura fried green beans with dill pickle tartar sauce certainly fit that description.
Created by chef Neil Bratton, the green beans were once a side dish, but “people liked them so much, we made them an appetizer.”
I made the beans and offered them to my discriminating (that’s code for picky) 10- and 11-year-olds. Before taking a bite, they wrinkled their noses – the reaction I expected. But after eating that first bean, the plate disappeared, only to later come back empty. I’m betting they liked that little bit of crunch and salt on the outside contrasted with the bean’s faint sweetness.
It may not be the healthiest way to eat green beans, but it’s better than a plate of French fries.
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