(Note: this post was originally published on April 19, 2020. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)
The humble green bean gets a major makeover with flavors from Southern Spain. These beans are blistered in a very hot skillet, get a bit tipsy on Spanish brandy, take a bath in orange and za'atar, and are complemented by bitter radicchio, sweet raisins, and buttery crunchy marcona almonds.
Anyone who thinks green beans are boring has definitely not had green beans like this. These beauties are charred, snappy, and packed with interesting flavors and textures. Let's give this veggie the attention it deserves and celebrate it with a flavor makeover!
In particular, this dish focuses on the flavors of southern Spain. Dave and I spent some time in Granada last spring and absolutely fell in love with it. It's an incredible, vibrant city, and we had the most glorious week wandering the winding streets and hiking in the adjacent hills. Granada was also the inspiration behin my reinterpretation of Patatas Bravas, so clearly the food there really made an impression.
These green beans are an homage to many of the flavors and ingredients we explored in southern Spain. Orange trees grow all over Granada, so these beans are bathed in orange zest and also finished with orange segments. North African ingredients are common there because Africa is close by, so these beans also feature raisins and za'atar. Let's not forget about those gorgeous Spanish marcona almonds, which basically taste like butter. Oh, and it's all kissed with a bit of Spanish brandy for good measure!
This epic platter of beans would be a welcome dish at virtually any meal, since it can transcend seasons. It would be equally at home at a summer BBQ as on the Thanksgiving table. I like to serve this dish hot, but I have modifications below for how to serve it cold and/or prep it in advance, so you have a lot of options.
I guess this is technically a "side dish", although I don't tend to think of my food that way. We've happily eaten the entire platter of these for dinner since the combination of the beans and almonds is definitely substantial enough to make a meal. You could also easily plate this on a bed of quinoa for additional protein and some complex carbs.
These beans are best when eaten right out of the skillet! I suggest going that route if possible, especially since they cook so quickly. But if you want to prep them ahead, cook the beans as directed but don't add the radicchio or any of the garnishes. Let the beans cool almost completely, and only add the radicchio then so that it doesn't wilt. Keep the beans and radicchio in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. When you're ready to serve, reheat in the microwave, then add the almonds and orange segments after reheating.
I think this would work great as a cold dish as well. That might be a fresh, summery spin on them!
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
I hope I've convinced you to say goodbye to green beans that are overcooked and smothered in heavy sauces. Beans can be bright, vibrant, zesty, tart, sweet, and the best kind of indulgent. These will transport you to the orange trees and spice markets of Granada.
How will you enjoy these beans? Will you serve them with your Thanksgiving meal? Or will you let the orange transport you to summer and serve them for a deck party? Maybe you'll have them cold, at a picnic?? There are so many ways to enjoy this dish, so tell me about how you had them in the comments below!
Oh, and go to southern Spain if you ever have the opportunity, it's amazing!
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
Green beans get a major update with bitter radicchio, sweet raisins, and a big kiss of orange, based on the flavors of southern Spain. Caution, this is not your typical green bean dish!