Serves 4 as a side
One of the things that I’ve heard most often from people over the years is that they could never be vegan because they don’t like vegetables. This, to me, is astounding. Not like vegetables!? Like, not ANY of the hundreds of different vegetables!?
However, I came to realise after being served many a meal ‘minus the meat’ that plain, steamed or boiled and woefully overcooked vegetables were what people thought they were supposed to be like. They all tasted the same: bland and soggy. Now, I LOVE vegetables, but I wouldn’t dream of boiling cauliflower and plonking it on a plate and calling it dinner.
I like to do things with my vegetable sides, making them delicious enough to eat without a centrepiece. Roasted green beans are one of my favourites, and combining them with roasted tomatoes and garlic takes them to a whole new level.
These are really simple and easy and I don’t even add herbs most of the time (only fresh basil when in season), but they taste incredible. Like, soak up every last drop with a slice of bread incredible.
I would usually serve these as part of an Italian meal, but there are no rules. They would also fit well into a Middle Eastern or Greek table. Just make sure you serve it hot, it really loses its magic when cold.
450g green beans, top and tailed
2 medium tomatoes, cored
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped (around 1 heaped tablespoon finely chopped)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp good olive oil
Handful fresh basil, optional, when in season
1. Preheat oven to 210C.
2. Place the green beans and tomatoes (cored side up) onto a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pepper and toss well. Roast in the oven for around 15 minutes, or until the beans are nearly soft. Add the garlic and stir it all up.
3. Return the tray to the oven and continue to roast until the tomatoes are soft and the beans are slightly wrinkly and have a few browned spots, around 10 minutes. They should look like this:
4. Remove the skins from the tomatoes (with a spoon or fork, don’t burn yourself) and place the tomatoes into a bowl. Mash with a fork until you have a rough puree. Add the beans and toss to combine. Check seasonings and adjust if necessary. Serve immediately.