Roasted Green Beans with Garlic, Lemon, Pine Nuts & Parmigiano-Reggiano
If I told you I cooked vegetables like this every night of the week, I’d be lying. The truth is that most nights, between soccer practice and homework, I’m steaming frozen broccoli in the microwave in a harried attempt to serve something green. But if I were entertaining or, say, asked to bring a vegetable to someone’s house for Thanksgiving, this is exactly the kind of dish I’d make because it’s impressive and easy to do ahead of time.
What makes it so good (if I didn’t have you at the title) is the combination of flavors and textures: tender roasted green beans, mellowed chunks of garlic, lemon-infused olive oil, crunchy toasted pine nuts and nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Naturally, this dish takes a bit of time of prepare but it’s not hard–just slightly more involved than steaming in the microwave :) One way to speed things up is to use pre-washed and trimmed beans in a bag; I, for one, am not above it–it’s a huge timesaver.
Once you’ve got your beans ready (ahem, opened the bag), simply toast your pine nuts in a small skillet to bring out their flavor. Be sure to watch them carefully…they’re expensive and can burn very quickly!
Next, toss the green beans with garlic, lemon zest and seasonings…
Roast them in a blazing hot oven until tender…
Finally, finish them off with the toasted pine nuts, lemon juice, more lemon zest and shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Vegetables don’t get much better. Enjoy!
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 (I use Colavita)
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
1. Set oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
2. 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.
3. 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).
4. 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.
5. 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!Add your review or comment!