Roasted Green Beans...with Leeks and Feta Cheese
Since I haven't posted a side dish in quite a while, I thought I'd share this simple recipe. It's a dish I like to make from time to time...especially when I have an abundance of fresh greens beans. While I normally add a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on top of the roasted green beans, I ended up substituting crumbled feta cheese one day. I had run out of Parmesan cheese but noticed I had plenty of feta cheese. So I thought... why not.
We really enjoyed it with the feta cheese. The salty/briny flavor of the feta really complemented the sweetness of the green beans. I've made this dish many a time... sometimes I'll add other ingredients just to make it different.... thinly sliced bell pepper, garlic, nuts, fresh herbs, etc. But I love roasting the green beens...
To be truthfully honest, I actually stumbled upon the idea of roasting green beans. You see, I always steamed the green beans or pan fried them, or slow cooked them(caramelized green beans)....but never roasted them in the oven. Then one day, I was planning on roasting some asparagus, which I thought was sitting in my fridge, and quickly realized that I had already used it in another recipe:). But wait, I did have some green beans. That's when the light-bulb sort of lit for me... why not roast the green beans?!
I loved the result... was actually ecstatic that the green beans tasted so good. The method of roasting the green beans actually worked! At the time I didn't know that roasting green beans was actually nothing new....people do it ALL the time! Well, regardless... I was glad I stumbled on the technique:). Just thought to share this simple method, in case you haven't tried it yet... and it's an easy recipe that can be adjusted to taste. Add a bit more butter, more garlic or add some dill... you can even drizzle some balsamic vinegar, or a homemade dressing. Hope you enjoy...
Tip: Instead of the leeks, substitute with the whites of green onion or even some onion....or skip it altogether.
Instead of the feta cheese, sprinkle some toasted nuts or even some crumbled bacon and/or Parmesan cheese.
Adding some sliced bell peppers along with the green beans makes for a different variation....even julienned carrots would be great.
You will need:
1 lb fresh green beans(thin French kind works best)
1/4 cup thinly sliced leeks
pad of butter, optional but so very tasty
1 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
chile flakes, optional
1 clove garlic, minced
feta cheese, crumbled
Finish off with:
A drizzle or 2 of olive oil ...and maybe even a pad of butter:).
1 Preheat oven to 425°F.
2 Wash, dry well, and trim green beans. Cut leeks in thin strips and combine with the beans...at this point you can add thinly sliced bell pepper, if you like as well.
Drizzle with olive oil until lightly coated.
4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste....and chile flakes, if using.
5. Mix until evenly coated.
6. Put green beans in a shallow pan/dish, cast iron, etc...
and spread them out into 1 layer. You can dot it with a bit of butter at this stage , if you like.
7. Roast for 15-30 minutes( timing is approximate...taste one an see how well-done you like yours...cook further if need be. I end up using my toaster oven and that always seems to take a bit longer for me).
8. Turn the beans over and add the garlic. Continue roasting for another 5 minutes or so... until until beans are fairly brown in spots and somewhat shriveled.
9. Drizzle a bit of extra olive oil and a pad of butter( cut in small chunks). Mix until butter is melted.
10. Add crumbled feta and s
erve hot... or at room temperature.