Nutty, sweet flavors complement beans very well – I had taken to this idea when I first made string beans with peanuts and jaggery. This time I had green beans (French beans) on hand, which meant a milder flavor and more crunch. This felt like a good opportunity to up the experimental quotient on "nutty, sweet flavors".
An online search brought me to a recipe on realsimple.com, which was just the sort of thing I was looking for. I had a sachet of dried cranberries lying around and was also stocked up on almonds and cashews.
I was very pleased with how the dish turned out.
- Green beans (French beans/haricot verts) – 250 grams
- Peppercorns – 20 (adjust to taste)
- Salt –2 teaspoons (when boiling) + to taste
- Cashew nuts and almonds – 1/4 cup (unsalted)
- Cranberries – 1/4 cup
- Extra-virgin olive oil – 2 tablespoons
In the picture above: Green beans, peppercorns, olive oil, dried cranberries, unsalted raw nuts.
1. Cook the beans
Wash and trim the green beans. Cut into 2-3 pieces (about 2 inch each).
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Stir in 2 teaspoons of salt, followed by the green beans. Cook till the beans are tender but firm (about 6-8 minutes).
When done, drain the beans using a colander or strainer.
2. Make the dressing
Dry-roast almonds and cashew nuts on low heat, till they turn a shade darker and fragrant. Remove from heat and chop the nuts.
In a large bowl, combine two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil with dried cranberries and chopped roasted nuts.
3. Put it all together
Transfer the cooked and drained green beans to the bowl with the dressing. Sprinkle salt and pepper and mix everything together.
Serve green beans with roasted nuts and cranberries warm or at room temperature.
Green beans with roasted nuts and cranberries works well as a side with a larger meal, and also as a one-pot meal.