June 28th, 2015

Ray’s Green Beans and Romesco

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Welcome the return of
Neighbor Ray’s petite green beans, true haricots verts
grown in his meticulous urban backyard garden.
Sleek and delicate, just picked and crunchy sweet.
The sack still holding the day’s warmth.
A summer highlight that had gone missing for a couple of summers.
Two years ago, Ray’s crop did too poorly. Pests and such.
Last year, I was out-of-pocket. Book promotions and such.
But this year, they’re back.
And I’m back. Thank goodness.

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As I’ve done in productive summers past, I’ve created a dish to celebrate them.
This time, I gleaned inspiration from a favorite local chef, Roderick Bailey of The Silly Goose, who makes a bowl of green beans and yukon gold potatoes, nestled in a pool of hazelnut romesco sauce. He finishes the dish with shavings of Manchego cheese and a flourish of paprika oil, in Spanish tapas fashion.

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Now, in my pantry and fridge I had many of the ingredients to replicate. Those golden potatoes, buttery companion to the beans. I had cremini mushrooms to add to the mix, impart their own kind of meaty umami.

As for the romesco, I had ripe bell peppers. An anaheim too, for a mild kick of heat. A couple of tomatoes. Half an onion. A piece of shallot. The critical sherry vinegar.

A few missing elements, though. No hazelnuts, nor Manchego cheese. No paprika oil, either.

No matter. I could still achieve a luscious base for the dish. A simpler romesco. I even eliminated the soft breadcrumbs often used as a thickening agent in traditional preparations. Let’s keep it gluten free. The peppers, once roasted and pureed with a splash of vinegar, a teaspoon of paprika, would have rich body and deep flavor.

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It all comes together with minimal work. Blanche the slender green beauties–done in just minutes. Roast potatoes and mushrooms. Roast, then puree peppers, tomatoes, onions and the like. Pool and spread the romesco. Arrange the vegetables; let them settle into the sauce.
(If you have Manchego, or toasted hazelnuts to garnish–go for it.)

Stand back and admire the brilliant composition of colors and textures.
Then, dig in.

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For other ideas for preparing and serving romesco sauce, visit here.

RAY’S BEANS AND ROMESCO
1 pound haricots verts, or young thin green beans, stems removed
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into cubes
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
olive oil
kosher salt
coarse ground black pepper

Bring a large skillet of lightly salted water to a boil. Put in the beans and cook for 3 minutes. Plunge them into an icy bath to cease the cooking and set their bright green color. Drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place the cubed potatoes onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and black pepper. Toss to coat.
Place quartered mushrooms onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and black pepper. Toss to coat.
Place each pan into the oven and roast until the potatoes are crisp and lightly browned, yet have soft cooked interiors—about 20 minutes. The mushrooms will roast more quickly, about 15 minutes.
Set both aside and make the romesco sauce.

SIMPLE ROMESCO SAUCE
1 red (or yellow or orange) sweet bell pepper, cut in half, stemmed and seeded
1 Anaheim pepper, cut in half, stemmed and seeded
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 roma tomatoes, cut in half
kosher salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika

Place peppers, onion, garlic, tomatoes onto a baking sheet. Coat with olive oil and dust with salt.
Roast in the preheated 425 degree oven until the skins of the peppers are blistered—about 20 minutes.
Remove and cool. Peel and discard the skins of the peppers and tomatoes.
Place the vegetables into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
Pulse and process.
Add the sherry vinegar and paprika.
Pulse and process until smooth. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.

ASSEMBLE
Pour most of the romesco sauce onto the bottom of a shallow bowl.
Toss the green beans, potatoes and mushrooms together. Place on top of the pool of romesco.
Dot the vegetables with remaining sauce and serve.

Makes 6-8 servings

Note: This is delicious served warm or room temperature. Enjoy!

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Posted in Gluten Free, Recipes, Sauces, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian Dishes

15 Responses to “Ray’s Green Beans and Romesco”
  1. Kath Says:

    That looks lovely and I am glad that Ray’s beans have done well this year and that you are there to share the bounty. My own beans are looking questionable, the slugs and snails seem to have had a good year, but there is time yet for them to pick up. I have my fingers firmly crossed and I am out most mornings with my gloves and a yoghurt pot to find those slugs and snails. The chickens appreciate the effort.

  2. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Good work, Kath! Don’t let those pests get the best of you and your beans!

  3. Johanne Lamarche Says:

    This is one gorgeous recipe, Nancy! There is nothing like the blessing of fresh picked vegetables and Ray’s haricots verts look so good. I love the execution of the romesco with what you had on hand. Great pairing of colors, textures, and flavors. I hope you shared some of this fabulous dish with Ray!

  4. paulette Says:

    wow! this is gorgeous. I love romesco sauce and always wonder what exactly to put it on. Thanks!

  5. Tammy Says:

    That’s so pretty and I haven’t made a romesco sauce before. The beans look terrific.

  6. goodfoodmatters Says:

    HI Johanne–thanks so much. I’m sorry that Ray didn’t get the chance to sample this batch.

    Hi Paulette–Romesco has many applications–even as a spread or vegetable dip

    Hi Tammy-the traditional recipe has more ingredients and can seem daunting. this version is less complex but still very very good!

  7. Gerlinde Says:

    Those are fantastic looking haricots verbs Nancy and I love what you did with them, especially adding the romesco sauce.

  8. Gerlinde Says:

    Oops I mean haricot verts……

  9. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Ha! I know, Gerlinde. that darned auto-correct messes up more words…

  10. Teresa Blackburn Says:

    Well to digress for a sec….I love the “haricots verbs” quite a lot!
    But, to your recipe I love the way it looks, the way it reads and all of the ingredients totally. I was at your house for “Third Thursday” the day you had received Ray’s Bag of Beans as I recall. You slipped your hand into the little bag and pulled out a scant handful…they were few, but mighty!
    I have enjoyed keeping up with you and Ray lo these many years now! Happy July Nance!

  11. Barbara Says:

    How divine, Nancy. A fabulous dish, colorful and flavorful. And how fortunate to have a generous gardening neighbor.

  12. Beth Says:

    This sounds wonderful. It’s on my list to make this summer!

  13. Denise Says:

    Mmm. I wish this was my lunch.

  14. Kitchen Belleicious Says:

    what a fantastic dish and i have never went the romesco route with my beans but boy does it look amazing and so refreshing. Its good to be back. I apologize for not stopping by in a few weeks-life was just so busy I had to step away but I am back now:) hope your having a great summer

  15. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hey Jess—good to see you here. Hope all is well with you and your family.



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