Friday, August 28, 2009


Psst! I realized something important this week: I've been happily making roasted green beans for years now (YEARS, I TELL YOU) and yet have never bothered to post the recipe here. So basically, I've been selfishly keeping roasted green beans a secret all this time, clutching them tightly to my breast in my wizened claws while muttering "Bah humbug! NO ROASTED GREEN BEANS FOR YOU!"

OK, not really. Actually, I just kept forgetting to post the recipe, and then I forgot about it completely for a while and only recently, in the throes of a serious summer passion for green beans, remembered its existence. I'm just trying to sexy this up a little bit, since it's so ridiculously simple it barely seems like a recipe at all. But it's no simpler than roasted asparagus, roasted broccoli, or roasted kale, and just as good, so I suppose it deserves a posting.

Y'all already know that roasting things makes them tasty--browned and delightfully chewy-crunchy, almost addictively snackworthy--and green beans are no different. If you think you don't like a vegetable, I say, try it roasted (it's worked for me with turnips, parsnips, and kale, although I have so far failed to fall in love with roasted beets). And of course, if you love a vegetable, definitely try it roasted. I especially like roasting green beans because--has this ever happened to you? Sometimes you go to the market and you get green beans and they're fantastic, so crisp and juicy you can eat them raw (I actually like raw green beans better than cooked ones; it reminds me of picking them and eating them straight from the garden as a kid). But then other times, even though the beans appear to be just as nice, and you spend an hour carefully choosing the skinny ones and skipping the overmature bulgy ones, you get them home and they're all thick and lumpy and tough and dry and revolting. That happened to me this week, and it was bumming me out until I remembered that roasting is an excellent treatment for non-superstar green beans. High heat transforms all that leathery starchiness back into sweet, sweet sugar (SCIENCE!). For extra excitement, try a mixture of green and yellow beans.

1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coarse salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Wash the beans and dry them well. Place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt, and toss well.

3. Roast for 15 minutes, or until beans reach desired degree of doneness, stirring them or shaking the pan a few times so they roast evenly. Season with additional salt, and a little fresh-ground pepper would not be a bad thing either.

Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: Fair. They'll be best right out of the oven, but they're still pretty tasty reheated.

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