Kalyn’s roasted green beans


RoastedgreenbeansOne of the very best things about food blogging is the fact that, if you regularly read other people’s blogs, you will have a never-ending supply of tried and tested recipes at your fingertips to inspire you every day.

Sometimes you will see something that’s so amazing that you will print the recipe and make it almost right away.  Other times you will be inspired by something you saw on a blog and make your own interpretation.  And sometimes you will see something and file it away for future reference, knowing that it will leap out at you again when the time is right.  This is one of those recipes!

Green beans (or French beans as they are also known) are some of the first vegetables I grew to like as a child, after peas and carrots.  There was something appealing abotu their cut-grass taste and their twirly tips, and I remember my mom telling me that my grandfather used to grow them in his vegetable garden and that as a child, she would eat the beans straight off the plant, still warm from the sun.  Although I never had the chance to do this, every time I bite into a breen bean I picture my mom as a little girl, biting into a bean in her Pretoria garden.

“French beans” is actually a misnomer as these beans were originally cultivated in South and Central America and were only brouight to Europe after the Spanish conquest. But whatever their nationality, they are rich in Vitamins A and C, as well as potassium, and are delicious when eaten raw or cooked.  If you add the high Vitamin C content of the red onions and high Vitamin E content of the almonds, you could almost say you were eating this purely for your health.  Only, it’s so delicious nobody would believe you! The beans stay fairly crisp but the roasting seems to bring out a nuttiness in them which steaming never does.  And I love both the sweeetness of the red onions and the crunch of the toasted almonds – a perfect combination.  Thanks Kalyn!



500g green beans, washed, topped & tailed
1 medium red onion, sliced into slim wedges
2-3 large cloves of garlic, minced
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup flaked almonds
salt and pepper
lemon juice


Pre-heat the oven to 200C.  Cut the green beans into 5cm pieces and toss in olive oil together with the onion slices and garlic until well coated.

Place the vegetables in a large, shallow oven-proof dish big enough that the vegetables form a single layer.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Pop the dish in the oven and roast for about 15 minutes or until the ends of the beans start to shrivel slightly.

Meanwhile, toast the almonds over medium heat in a dry non-stick frying pan.  Watch them like a hawk and turn frequently so that they don’t burnm and remove from the heat when they start to brown.

When the beans are done, toss them in a serving bowl together with the toasted almonds and a splash of lemon juice and serve immediately.

[And before you ask, yes it is winter in the UK and these beans are not locally produced – they came from Kenya.  In an aeroplane.  Being from Africa, I have very mixed feelings about the fanatical avoidance of foods flown in from there.  I do try as far as possible to buy produce grown in the UK, but I have to confess that when I see South African grapes (or Kenyan beans, for that matter) I do often buy them.  I figure if we boycott them altogether, that’s another source of income denied to a continent that urgently needs to find an alternative to foreign aid packages. Here is some further reading on that debate.]

Whb_2_yrs_2I’m submitting this post as my entry to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, kindly hosted by Anna at Anna’s Cool Finds.

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  1. says

    I’m so glad you liked them. I did love these beans, but the funniest thing of all is that this was one of the recipes I was trying out for Thanksgiving. I made them at my sister’s house where I was having dinner that day, and one of the kids said “We’re not having green bean casserole (with mushroom soup)?”

  2. Sarah Pipilini says

    Well, My dear caramel crumpet? Where have we been? I found myself pondering your plight, conjuring up the most disconcerting mental tapestries of a woman lost, but just as I was about to send out the search parties, (and you know how much we love parties) you re-appear with a plethora of posts!
    Good for you!
    I do read with warm affection your muse on all things green and vegetably. It makes me recall my favourite fruity delicacies, and like you, I enjoyed them picked green and enjoyed still warm, in the sun, of course. I even recall my own Spanish conquest. We are so alike.
    Now I know why they called them our salad days…
    Oh my God, I almost nearly forgot… please remind me to tell you about my own three-cheese adventure…

  3. Sarah Pipilini says

    I fly them aeroplanes that bring in those fresh foods. So, you no buy-I no fly :-(
    Buy LOTS of them. An appeal from my bank manager.
    (Not to mention the Romanian Rent Boys)

  4. says

    Great post! I’ve not been to S. Africa, but I have been to Kenya and have to agree that its a hard call on the local vs further afield. Africa certainly needs every penny. Thanks for contributing this week to WHB! Am just about to publish the roundup.

  5. says

    The beans sound wonderful and your picture, as always, is lovely. I’m always interested in the topic of flying foods in by airplane. Although I believe in eating and buying locally as a concept, in reality, I live in Alaska and if I didn’t eat flown in food, we wouldn’t have much to eat during the winter months. Definitely not fresh vegetables. I get a biweekly CSA box, but it too gets flown in from 1500 miles away. It’s difficult to reconcile the competing interests.

  6. says

    Thank you for this! AND as I am living in Africa, I guess I won’t have to say sorry for trying this out tonight! I totally agree with you about “only local in season” – I suppose when you see people starving everyday, you kind of “get over” lots of things! Thanks again

  7. Andrew says

    Its a realy quandry – do we eat local to reduce air miles and support our own farmers or buy fairtrade (and ‘normal’) to help out those desperatly poor people in more farflung countries?

  8. says

    this looks healthy and wonderful. and i would feel better about eating something flown in from africa than flown from florida, most definitely.

  9. says

    That looks like a little bit of spring colour in the darkest month of the year. It looks gorgeous and green beans and toasted almonds is a Cape staple, I’ll have to try it with the red onions as well. Yum!

  10. says

    How did I miss seeing this recipe on Kalyn’s site? It looks fantastic.
    I too buy imported fresh produce. Here in Canada, it’s almost impossible not to at this time of year.

  11. Martin says

    thanks for this.
    FYI generally the lack of fertilizer and farm machinery used in the developing world more than makes up for the flight… carbon wise.
    If I could find the report again i’d link, but it was in the Guardian newspaper (UK)