Green beans with roasted tomatoes and olives

Green beans with roasted tomatoes and olives

By
From
How I cook
Serves
6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

French beans are equally good served hot or at room temperature, and either way they can be cooked in advance. You do, however, need to keep a close eye on them: undercook and they will be too crunchy, cold in the middle and slightly raw-tasting; overcook and they are likely to be waterlogged and taste rather dull. The idea is to boil them to exactly the right point and then immediately refresh them under cold water – both to stop the cooking process and to retain their vivid green colour.

If serving the beans at room temperature, as here, dress them just beforehand. If serving hot, gently warm them in a pan with a little olive oil, a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper, sprinkling over a finely chopped garlic clove if you like.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
handful baby plum tomatoes
splash olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1kg fine french beans
50ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
20 little olives preserved in olive oil (ideally from liguria or provence)
40g parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Wash the tomatoes, pat dry and pierce once or twice, using a small sharp knife. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes or until soft, then set aside to cool.
  2. Place a large pot of well-salted water on to boil. Top the beans, but don’t tail them – it isn’t necessary and they look pretty with the tails left on. When the water comes to a rolling boil, plunge in the beans and cook for 4 minutes, or until they are just tender to the bite and bright green in colour. Drain into a colander and immediately refresh under cold running water or in a bowl of iced water. Once the beans are cool, drain thoroughly and pat dry with a clean cloth.
  3. Just before serving, pour over the extra virgin olive oil and wine vinegar and stir through the tomatoes, olives and parmesan if using. Taste and adjust the seasoning – you will need pepper for sure, but the olives and parmesan may provide enough salt.
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