In the slightly rearranged words of Kermit the Frog, it’s not easy, green bean.
At least, it’s not easy when you suddenly come in for a lot of green beans, as I just have. And let me tell you, this mob has that menacing look that certain vegetables acquire when gathered in great numbers, daring you not to waste a single pod.
In physics terms, dealing with said mass of beans is a space-time problem – I could freeze them if I had space or pickle them if I had time. Meanwhile, I am tackling them with that which I know best: heat and potatoes.
Potatoes with Green Beans and Garlic
Sometimes things don’t have to be terribly complicated, and this is a case in point. It’s really nothing more than some potatoes and green beans roasted together with a few cloves of garlic and then dressed with a mix of mustard, oil and lemon juice.
Make a meal out of it with some fish or chicken pieces – which could be roasted at the same time as the veg – or perhaps with a simple omelette. Alternatively, serve as a side to your favourite roast dinner.
- Makes around 4 servings & takes approx. 10 min to prep + 50 min to cook
For the veg:
- 800g potatoes, preferably a floury variety
- 2 tsp fine salt, for boiling the potatoes
- 2 tblsp rapeseed or olive oil, divided
- 3-4 fat cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- 250g green beans, washed and trimmed
- 5-6 very thin slices lemon (about 1-2mm thick)
For the dressing:
- 1.5 tblsp lemon juice
- 1.5 tblsp rapeseed or olive oil
- 0.75 tsp dijon mustard
- coarse salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
You’ll also need:
- One large or two smaller roasting tins, big enough to accommodate the vegetables in a single layer (mine was about 27cm x 33cm and 5cm deep)
- Preheat your oven to 200C
- Scrub the potatoes and, leaving the skin on, cut into large chunks, around 4-5cm thick.
- Bring about 1.5l of water to the boil in a saucepan, add about 2 tsp salt and the potatoes. Allow the water to come back to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and drain well.
- Add 1.5 tblsp of the rapeseed or olive oil to your roasting tin and place in the oven to heat.
- Return the potatoes to the pot and cover with a tea towel for about 5 minutes or shake the pot gently over a very low heat for about a minute, so that the potatoes dry out.
- Remove your tin from the oven, toss the potatoes and the garlic cloves in the hot oil and return to the oven.
- Toss the green beans and the lemon slices with the remaining 0.5 tblsp of oil and, after the potatoes have roasted for about 20 minutes, add the beans and lemon to the tin. Return to the oven for about another 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden and cooked through and the beans are slightly charred.
- Mix together the lemon juice, oil and mustard for the dressing. Mash the roasted cloves of garlic and add to the dressing, along with coarse salt to taste and a few twists of black pepper.
- Toss the still warm potatoes and beans in the dressing. Taste and sprinkle with additional coarse salt if desired and serve straightaway.
- Some finely grated parmesan, sprinkled over the vegetables about 5 minutes before the end of cooking would be a nice touch, I reckon.