I made this Green Bean side dish for my first ever, cooked all by myself, Thanksgiving Dinner and I just had to tell everyone about it because it was absolutely awesome! (To get the full effect of this statement you need to raise your voice a bit when you reach the word “awesome” while singing it in a kind of operatic style…just a suggestion). I’m planning on making it again for our Christmas Dinner and thought some other folks might like to as well, so I’m sharing it. My husband and I actually considered making the good old Green Bean Casserole for Thanksgiving. You know the one, with the cream of mushroom soup, crispy fried onions and maybe a bazillion calories? Don’t get me wrong, that one is yummy and you shouldn’t be counting calories on Thanksgiving anyway. But we were already planning to have mashed potatoes and gravy, and stuffing and a decadent Jack Daniel’s Caramel Apple pie, served with ice cream of course! So we thought that this recipe would be quite refreshing and lighten the dinner up, ever so slightly.This recipe did just that. The green beans are crispy, and so flavourful with the garlic, lemon juice and savoury Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The toasted pine nuts add a great crunchy texture to the dish. Although it was very easy to make, it looked quite impressive on the table. Really fantastic!
So where did I find this winning recipe? A friend of mine had recommended that I take a look at a food blog that a friend of his publishes. So I took a peek and just loved it! It is called Once Upon a Chef. You must go and take a look for yourself. Jennifer, who publishes the blog, is a professionally trained chef who has given up the fancy restaurant gigs for the time being and is now enjoying cooking at home for her family. On her site you will find delicious gourmet recipes that will please both grown-ups as well as kids. Contrary to what you might think about recipes from a professional chef, ie. they’ll be fussy and full of obscure ingredients, her recipes are simple to cook, yet will make folks think you slaved over the dish all day! You’ll also find great cooking tips (see the pine nut info. listed below) and gorgeous photography. It is really very inspiring, so check it out! And plan to make this Roasted Green Beans with Garlic, Pine Nuts & Parmigiano-Reggiano dish for dinner. You won’t regret it!
Roasted Green Beans with Garlic, Lemon, Pine Nuts & Parmigiano-Reggiano
recipe from Once Upon a Chef
- ⅓ cup pine nuts*
- 2 pounds fresh green beans, stem ends trimmed
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise (a medium clove should yield 4 slices)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons lemon zest (you’ll need two lemons)
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Set oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
In a small dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts until golden. Watch carefully and stir frequently as they can burn quickly! Immediately transfer to small bowl (don’t leave them in hot pan as they will continue to cook). Set aside.
Put the green beans in a large bowl. Add sliced garlic, olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the lemon zest, kosher salt, pepper and sugar and toss well. Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet (don’t leave any flavor behind: use a rubber spatula to scrape all of the oil and seasoning out of the bowl and onto the beans).
Roast beans and garlic for 15 minutes. Stir with a spatula to promote even cooking, then continue roasting until the beans are tender throughout, about 10 minutes more. The beans should be fully cooked, with some lightly browned but not shriveled.
Add lemon juice, Parmigiano-Reggiano, remaining lemon zest and pine nuts to beans and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice if necessary. Transfer to serving platter and serve hot or room temperature.
*Always check the origin of pine nuts and be sure to buy the Italian variety. Certain pine nuts, particularly those from China, can cause a bitter aftertaste that can last for days — very unpleasant!