January 9, 2012

Garlic and Oregano Green Beans

A member of the mint family widely used in both the medicinal and culinary world, oregano, from the Italian origano, is native to Eurasia and the Mediterranean. Like many other herbs, the flavor of oregano, found in the aromatic oils, depends upon the conditions under which it is grown. Most commonly, oregano is associated with Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Latin American cuisines and was likely brought to popularity in the states by soldiers returning from Italy during World War II. Although dried oregano can be very flavorful, I prefer fresh herbs and so prefer to cook with fresh oregano. Due to the strong aromatic oils it possesses, small quantities of oregano can be sufficient to impart abundant flavor in a given dish. Because the fresh leaves are delicate, allowing them to roast for a short period of time retains their flavor and prevents them from burning. Garlic and oregano green beans are delicious with wheat berry salad and celeriac purée.

1 lb green beans, trimmed

4 cloves garlic, smashed

2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves

1 lemon, halved

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the green beans with olive oil and salt and pepper, spread them on a baking sheet and arrange the garlic on top. Place the green beans in the oven and roast for 8-10 minutes, until beans are just tender.

2. Sprinkle the oregano on the green beans and return to oven for 1-2 more minutes or until oregano is wilted. Remove the beans from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. Chop the roasted garlic and fold into the green beans. Squeeze lemon juice on beans just before serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve green beans warm.

Serves 3-4


Smith said...

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