When it comes to green beans, the oven tends to get overlooked.
Maybe it's because steaming and sauteing are so quick, and bringing out the best in green beans calls for just a bit of heat. But a short, yet intense, high-heat roast can have the same delicious effect, with the added benefit of giving the beans a satisfying char. It's also almost effortless.
To prove the point, I came up with this simple yet boldly flavored salad of roasted green beans with pancetta and garlic. The beans then are tossed with cool, raw cherry tomatoes for a pleasant and juicy contrast. For the dressing, it's just a splash of lemon juice and a sprinkle of Parmesan.
Start to finish: 25 minutes
1 1/2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 ounces pancetta, diced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Kosher (or other coarse) salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the oven to 500.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the green beans, garlic and pancetta to mix, then spread in an even layer. Roast for 10 minutes, or until the beans are browned.
Transfer the beans and pancetta mixture, as well as any juices in the pan, to a large bowl. Drizzle the lemon juice over the beans, then add the cherry tomatoes and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the salad between serving plates, then sprinkle generously with Parmesan.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 210 calories; 120 calories from fat (54 percent of total calories); 13g fat (7g saturated; 0g trans fats); 20mg cholesterol; 16g carbohydrate; 10g protein; 7g fiber; 680mg sodium.
Turn leftovers of this roasted green bean and pancetta salad into a cool pasta salad.
Boil up some spiral pasta. During the final 5 minutes of cooking, add 1 to 2 cups (depending on volume of leftovers) frozen corn kernels and continue cooking.
If you have fresh kernels cut from the cob, skip the boiling step and simply add them to the bowl in the next step.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and the corn, then run under cool water, then drain again. In a large bowl, toss the pasta and corn with the leftover green bean salad.
Add a bit more lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper. Stir in a bit more grated Parmesan cheese.
For a spicy hit, mix in 1 teaspoon finely minced jalapeno pepper.