I was making my birthday dinner and I wanted side dishes to go with my barbecued lamb. I looked on-line for ideas. I decided to have green beans as one of my dishes. I adapted a recipe from Spruce Eats to suit my tastes and needs.
Since I was already slow roasting one vegetable—leeks—the idea of saving energy and effort by combining them in the oven was very appealing. I separated a large baking tray into two sections—leeks on one side and green beans on the other. I prefer to use Harcourt Verts which are French green beans which are more tender and thinner than the Blue Lake green beans commonly used in America. For dessert, wife Jan made chocolate mousse.
Karl’s Slow Roasted Harcourt Verts with Za’atar Breadcrumbs
1 lb. Harcourt Verts
3 Tbs. olive oil, separate uses
½ yellow onion (about 1 cup)
1 tsp. chervil
½ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. marjoram
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ cup panko
½ Tbs. za’atar
1. Set your oven rack to the highest level and preheat your oven to 400° F.
2. Rinse and trim the green beans
3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk to combine one tablespoon of olive oil with the chervil, thyme, marjoram, pepper, and salt.
4. Add the green beans and toss to coat.
5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the green beans out into a single layer.
Tip: Use a spatula to scrape out any remaining oil and herbs over the beans.
Note: I planned to slow roast some leeks for another dish at the same time. I used two sheets of foil to divide my baking tray into two sections. I laid the first sheet of foil over the pan cross-ways—crimping three edges of the foil along the edges of the tray. I then folded up about an inch of the foil’s edge in the middle of the pan. I laid the second sheet of aluminum foil on the other side of the pan—folding up the inner edge in line with the first fold—to create two trays for roasting.
6. Put the tray in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 300° F.
7. Slow roast the green beans for 40-50 minutes.
8. While the beans are roasting, put one tablespoon of oil into a sauté pan and add the onions.
Tip: Slice the onion pole to pole into thin half moons and break them up into individual leaves.
9. Sauté the onions until well browned, about 8-10 minutes.
10. Scrape the onions over the green beans in the oven.
Tip: This trick both keeps the onions warm and finishes cooking them.
11. Without cleaning the sauté pan, add the last tablespoon of olive oil and add the panko breadcrumbs.
12. Toast the breadcrumbs over low heat until starting to brown.
Tip: Stir the breadcrumbs constantly with a rubber spatula, so that they brown evenly.
13. Sprinkle the za’atar over the toasted crumbs and stir to mix them evenly.
Note: When they are done, remove the breadcrumbs to a bowl, so that they do not burn from the heat of the pan.
14. When the green beans are finished roasting, transfer them to the sauté pan— without cleaning it—and pour most of the bread crumbs over the beans.
Tip: Reserve some of the bread crumbs for garnish.
15. Toss to mix the green beans, onions, and breadcrumbs and transfer them to a serving bowl.
16. Garnish the dish with the remaining bread crumbs and serve warm.