Each and every time I make green beans, I'm transported back to childhood. Nights that we had greens beans were always one of my favorites since it meant I got to help prepare dinner. I stood at the counter snapping the ends off of every bean, one at a time (while also sneaking one into my mouth every so often). It was a small job, yet it always felt like an important one.
While these fresh beans make me feel nostalgic, this quick and easy, subtly spicy side dish is nothing like the plain steamed green beans from my childhood. It's a good side dish for any meal, from simple chicken to a hearty winter braise.
If your go-to cooking method for green beans is steaming, or even a quick sauté, give roasting a turn. This is a quick, easy and flavorful way to change things up. The beans soften without becoming too mushy, and they come out of the oven with a light char that adds a nice smoky flavor.
This recipe is also one more reason that harissa needs be a staple in your kitchen. It is truly magical! This spicy, aromatic chile paste is really versatile and has the power to transform a dish like this one. Just a couple teaspoons of harissa elevate these simple green beans by adding bright flavors and a touch of heat that kicks in a few seconds after each bite.
Roasted Green Beans with Harissa
1 pound fresh green beans
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons harissa paste
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the upper position. Wash, thoroughly dry, and trim the ends off the beans.
In a medium bowl, mix together the olive oil and harissa. Add the green beans and toss so they are completely coated. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread the green beans in a single layer across a large baking sheet. Place on the upper rack of the oven and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until the beans are lightly browned and slightly wilted-looking. Remove the pan from the oven.
Transfer the green beans to a serving bowl. Top with sliced almonds, if desired, and serve immediately.