Yield: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes
I personally have never been enthusiastic about vegetable casseroles. Too many casseroles when I was a child. I still associate it with overcooked vegetables baked and enriched with some sort of sauce. Have you ever heard dishes being praised as “simple and honest” cooking? I think to attach to food the label “honest” is disingenuous. It’s quite often a lame embellishment for uneventful cooking.
Here is a healthier, simpler and truly “honest” option without all the thickening agents, yet it still maintains the casserole’s advantage of making it in advance. It travels well and tastes great warm or at room temperature.
Judias Verdes con Almendras y Queso de Cabra is a Spanish vegetable dish worthwhile trying. A great side dish or, on its own, an excellent vegetable choice. I never forget to add a healthy dose of my best olive oil and some lemon juice drizzle before serving. It makes all the difference.
- 1 1/2 lbs (675 g) young green beans, cut in the middle if too long
- 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/2 cup (115 g) sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup (115 g) fresh goat cheese
- 1/2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- lemon juice to taste
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add salt. Blanch green beans for about 2 minutes. Drain beans and cool them under running water. Drain again and spread beans on paper towels to absorb residual water.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan. Add garlic and almonds. Cook until garlic and almonds begin to color, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in half of the goat cheese. Season with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix beans gently under the almonds-goat cheese mix. Pour beans into a prepared dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and dot it with remaining goat cheese and the 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until goat cheese starts to melt and green beans are “al dente”. Just before serving drizzle lemon juice on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.