* Reader Recipe
My friend Daryn brought these absolutely delicious beans to The First Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner—and they were addictive. I downed the leftovers for lunch the next day, and another guest, Kim, emailed me the morning after to say she was making them for her family that night. They’re from http://www.recipegirl.com, adapted from Fine Cooking. Any vegetable that’s roasted gets a robust burst of flavor, and when you add the rest of the ingredients…well, who wouldn’t love the lemon-pignoli-parmesan combo in just about anything? These beans are well worth the bit of extra effort beyond basic steaming or roasting, I promise.
Daryn and I were both single girls working at magazines in New York at one time (long ago), and now we’re both working moms of little girls (Aiden is five and thinks Emma is one of her older cousins), married and living in Los Angeles. We met at Mademoiselle (I was Managing Editor and Daryn was a staff writer, one of the best in the city), and today we work on custom lifestyle magazines together. Daryn still writes for all the biggies (Parenting, Health, O), and has written several books to boot. On the food front, she’s a vegetarian, and as I’ve said elsewhere on the blog, I never know what to make when she comes over for dinner—whatever it is always seems so forced (what to substitute for the meat? another vegetable? a meal of sides? pathetic!), whereas dinner at her house flows so naturally. I always end up asking her for recipes for everything she makes, and even Bruce, for whom a meal isn’t a meal if it doesn’t have meat, loves dinners at her house. We’d never had these beans, though, and that makes me wonder what else Daryn has up her sleeve.
1¼ lbs. fresh green beans, rinsed well, stem ends trimmed
1 small head garlic
¼ cup plus 1 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1½ T finely grated lemon zest (from 1 to 2 medium lemons), divided
1½ T fresh lemon juice
1 t. kosher salt
½ t. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup pine nuts
¼ cup coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 T coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Position oven racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Put beans in large mixing bowl. Peel garlic and quarter each clove lengthwise. Add garlic to green beans. Toss together with ¼ cup of olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Spread beans on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the top third of the oven for 10 minutes. Stir beans and garlic with a spatula for more even cooking and coloring. Continue roasting until the beans and garlic pieces are lightly browned and tender throughout, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, spread the pine nuts out on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the bottom third of the oven until just golden, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the beans to a small serving platter or shallow bowl and dress with the lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss gently to coat and season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, the remaining ½ tablespoon lemon zest, the Parmigiano, and the parsley. Serve hot or at room temperature.