Beans with nuts and orange
This is such a simple recipe, but served at room temperature, it’s ideal for a slow bbq day, or a picnic. You can make it well in advance, indeed it gets better if it has had a couple of hours steeping in the juices.
Serves 4 as a vegetable side dish.
400g green beans (topped and tailed)
200g mangetout (topped and tailed)
A handful of walnuts or hazelnuts
2 cloves of garlic (raw or roasted)
A splash of orange blossom water
Toast the nuts in a hot oven for 10 minutes, or in a dry frying pan, watching that they don’t burn.
Bring a pan of water to the boil, and add the beans. Cook for about 5 minutes, until they are just approaching al dente.
Add the mangetout for 1 minute.
Strain, and if you want to keep the vibrant green colour, plunge them into icy water to cool them quickly.
Zest the orange. You don’t want to lose any of the precious orange oil, so do it straight into the dish you are going to serve it in. If possible, use a zester rather than a fine grater – the long strands of orange really add to the dish.
Crush the nuts roughly, and add them to the dish.
Finely chop the raw garlic, or if you prefer a softer taste, use roasted garlic. Add this to the dish.
Add the beans, mangetout and the orange blossom water, and mix well.
Drizzle with a good olive oil.
If you want more of a sauce with the beans, I sometimes squeeze the orange, and drizzle that over too.
It’s important to let the dish come to room temperature, so if you’ve made it in advance, take it out of the fridge a good two hours before you want to serve it.
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