Intense flavor in a quick and easy dish
Markets are bursting with fresh produce in our part of the world. Including green beans (aka string beans or snap beans). So why not roast a mess of them?
Oven heat concentrates and deepens the (already wonderful) flavor of fresh vegetables. And roasting veggies requires little effort – prep work is minimal.
Best of all, these beanies are equally good served hot or cold. So they’re both dinner-party perfect and picnic friendly.
Recipe: Roast Green Beans with (or without) Garlic
Roasting veggies is easy: Toss them with some extra-virgin olive oil. Place them on a sheet pan. Roast them at high heat until done. That’s it.
Roasting is one of our favorite ways to prepare vegetables. So we’ve done quite a few roast-veggie recipes over the years – see the list at the end of this post.
For green beans, we decided to add shallot to the mix for a flavor twist. We also add garlic toward the end of roasting for a bit of zing. You can omit one or both if you wish.
We like to roast vegetables at fairly high heat (about 450 degrees F). But you can roast at any temperature between 300 and 450 F. The lower the heat, the longer cooking will take. And higher heat promotes more charring – which you may or may not want. We tend to like it.
Prep time for this recipe is about 5 minutes. Cooking time adds 12 to 15 minutes.
Leftovers keep well for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container.
- ~1 pound green beans
- 1 shallot (or more; to taste)
- ~2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- salt to taste (maybe a teaspoon of kosher salt for us; see Notes)
- 2 garlic cloves (or to taste; optional)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste (a few grinds for us)
- lemon juice or vinegar for finishing the dish (about a tablespoon for us, but to taste; optional)
- fresh herb of choice for garnish (we like parsley or thyme; see Notes)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Wash and dry the green beans, then trim their ends if you wish (we often don’t). Peel the shallot and slice it into rounds. Toss the beans and shallot slices with olive oil. Spread the beans out on a baking pan in one layer (we usually line the pan with aluminum foil to make cleanup easy). Sprinkle with salt. Place the pan in the oven and set a timer for 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, peel and mince the garlic. When the timer goes off, remove the green beans from the oven, add the garlic, then toss to combine. Add black pepper to taste. Spread the beans out on the pan again and return them to the oven. Roast until the green beans are tender – another 4 to 7 minutes.
- When the green beans are done, place them in a serving bowl and add lemon juice or vinegar to taste (see Notes). Toss the beans to combine.
- Garnish, if you wish, with fresh herbs. Serve and enjoy.
- This is one of those recipes where exact measurement or quantities aren't critical.
- Younger, smaller green beans take less time to roast than larger, more mature ones.
- You can prepare this dish ahead of time if you wish. Just serve the green beans at room temperature or reheat them in the microwave. We suggest not adding the lemon juice or vinegar (Step 4) until right before serving.
- We like to roast green beans at a high temperature, but use lower heat if you prefer (or if you’re cooking something else in the oven that requires a lower temperature). As noted above, any temperature from 300 to 450 F will work, though we think the sweet spot is between 400 and 450 F.
- It’s easy to dress up this dish. We sometimes add chile powder or red pepper flakes. You could also top it with grated cheese (such as Parmesan).
- You can substitute balsamic vinegar for lemon juice or regular vinegar. Or skip the vinegar altogether and serve the beans without that added hit of acid – they’ll still be good.
- You could also toss the beans with some fresh herbs (instead of just adding the herbs as garnish). Parsley is an obvious choice, but thyme works particularly well with green beans. Rosemary or chives would also be a good addition.
- If garlic doesn’t appeal to you, just omit it.
- We like to use extra-virgin olive oil for this dish because its flavor is so good. But substitute another oil if you like.
- We use kosher salt for cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt – the crystals are larger and more coarse, so they don’t pack a measure as tightly. If you’re using regular table salt, start with half as much as we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
“I won’t string you along,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “These beans are great.”
“Well, I’m a pod person!” I said.
“Snappy,” said Mrs K R. “I had you pegged as more of a (bean) stalker.”
“Am I getting roasted here?” I said.
“Sure,” said Mrs K R. “As we always say, roasting concentrates flavor. Not to mention your mind.”
The heat is on.
You may also enjoy reading about:
Roast Sweet Potatoes
Roast Belgian Endive
Roast Brussels Sprouts
Roast Carrots and Parsnips
Or check out the index for more