I’ve always been a bit ‘meh’ about green beans as a vegetable. Perhaps it’s because they are usually boiled to oblivion and devoid of all flavour. Perhaps it’s because their texture is just slightly reminiscent of that of the pea, which is one of the few vegetables that I despise. Whatever the reason, they’re usually a bit rubbish.
However, they become like a whole new vegetable when they are roasted. They take on an almost nutty quality, the flavour intensifies, and they have a bit of a bite to them. Pair this with creamy feta and a little squeeze of lemon juice, and they are transformed from that soggy vegetable that most people leave on their plate to a tasty side dish that will have people coming back for seconds… and maybe thirds.
This would make a great side dish to pretty much any meal, be it a hot roast dinner, a Mediterranean pasta salad, or a slice of quiche. You could even just stick it on top of a big pile of lettuce.
Roasted green beans with feta and lemon juice
400g green beans, topped and tailed
100g feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 lemon (juice only)
Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F). Melt 20g of the butter in a baking dish, and add the green beans. Roast for 30 minutes, and then remove from the oven. Stir, add the remaining butter, and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, or until the beans are crisp and slightly browned.
Add the crumbled feta cheese and the juice of half a lemon, and season generously with salt and black pepper. Serve warm.