Monday, February 13, 2012

Roast-a-thon: Green Beans + Pesto with Roasted Green Beans and Walnuts

In this installment of the Roast-a-thon, we learn to turn the ordinary green bean into a elegant treat worthy of Mudd's Women-style glow-lighting.

I grew up never having tasted a green bean that didn't come from a can. Understandably, I didn't much care for them. Then one day, my mother-in-law served up fresh green beans simmered with onions and garlic. What an eye-opener! Green beans didn't have to be mushy and salty!

But just recently, an even greater revelation in green-beanery occurred. I grabbed a pound or so on sale at the organic farmer's market and roasted them. It was like a beam of light coming down from the heavens onto my plate! Rich taste, a perfect bite... An ideal snack or side, but crying for a delicious recipe too. Tonight, Pesto Pasta with Roasted Green Beans and Toasted Walnuts was born.

Roasted Green Beans

Any amount of green beans
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Trim the ends of the green beans with kitchen shears. In a bowl or freezer bag, add the oil and toss. (For one pound of green beans, I used 1 tbsp of olive oil. Adjust accordingly.) Spread in a single layer on baking sheet(s), and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until browned and crisping on the edges, turning once. (You can't exactly turn them, so I just shake them all loose with a spatula, then spread them out again.)

A bonus recipe for your delicious green beans:

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Green Beans and Toasted Walnuts

1 lb green beans
1/3 cup of walnut pieces
1 8 oz jar of prepared vegan pesto
1 box (12 or 16 oz) of tricolor fettuccine
Olive oil as needed
1 cup of torn kale, wilted (optional)

Roast the green beans as above, adding the walnut pieces for the last five minutes of cooking to toast. Meanwhile, prepare fettuccine al dente according to package directions. Drain, return to the warm pot (off the heat) and add the pesto. Toss until coated, adding a little olive oil if needed thin. Add roasted green beans and toasted walnuts. Garnish with wilted kale, if desired.


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