Roasted Green Beans with Walnuts & Goat Cheese.
Everyone needs a few good, easy, go-to side dishes and these beans have quickly shot to the top of my list.
Good old green beans are roasted in the oven with a few walnuts and a nice dressing of herbs, oil, and vinegar.
Add a little goat cheese (or feta) and you’ve got some pretty spectacular beans.
Here’s what you need:
Green Beans, Lemon, Walnuts, Fresh Thyme, Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Goat Cheese, Salt & Pepper.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
One pound of green beans should serve 4 people. Unless your beans are tender and super fresh from the garden (which, since it is January, they probably are not), trim off the little ends and stems.
While you’re in a chopping mood, finely chop 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves and 1/2 cup of walnuts.
If you don’t have fresh thyme, just skip it. Dried thyme is NOT a good substitution in this recipe.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. When the water is at a full boil, add the beans and cook only for about 30-45 seconds, until the beans are bright green.
Do not overcook the beans!
Immediately take the beans out of the boiling water and place them in a bowl of ice water. This is called “shocking” and it stops the beans from cooking any further. It also helps keep the vibrant, bright green color.
Don’t be tempted to skip this quick boiling and shocking step. I’ve tried this recipe just roasting the beans and they really shrivel up in a fairly bad way. This extra step of pre-boiling and shocking keeps the beans plump and tender.
When the beans are completely cool, lay them out on a paper towel to dry while you make the vinaigrette.
In a large bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme. Add a bit of salt & pepper to taste.
Give the dressing a stir or whisk to combine. Unlike my photo, it’s easier to stir the dressing together before you add the walnuts.
But, if like me you forget and dump your 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts in early, the dressing will still stir up just fine.
Use a paper towel to blot any remaining moisture from the green beans. This seems like an unnecessary step but is actually very important. We don’t want any extra moisture on the beans or they will steam rather than roast in the oven. Dry those beans.
Add the green beans to the bowl of dressing and toss to coat.
Place the beans and walnuts on a foil lined tray in a single layer.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes giving them a little toss about halfway through the cooking time so they cook evenly on all sides.
I like my beans a little crisper so I roasted them for only about 12 minutes. If you like yours more tender, roast them just a bit longer, up to 20 minutes.
Right when they come out of the oven, squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the warm beans.
Place them in a serving dish and dot with nice crumbly goat cheese, about 1/3 cup. Try to choose a goat cheese that is crumbly rather than creamy for the best results.
If goat cheese isn’t your thing, feta cheese is a great substitution (and was also the cheese suggested in the original recipe).
Green Beans with Walnuts & Goat Cheese can be served warm or at room temperature.
Roasting vegetables is such a simple and easy way to transform something like the humble old green bean into a spectacular side dish. Adding walnuts and goat cheese doesn’t hurt either!
Here’s the recipe – adapted from Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden
By the way, this is the same cookbook that brought you those Braised Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta. I have my eye on a many more recipes to come. For those of you who garden, this might be a book for you!