The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Roasted Green Beans and Peppers with Garlic

Roasted Green Beans and Peppers with Garlic

Every summer, I wait until the green beans at the farmers market look really plump and delicious, then I buy a big batch to take home, blanch and freeze. These are my Thanksgiving beans, for a traditional casserole or a simple steamed platter. I impress myself with my forward thinking ways. But sometimes I go overboard at the farmers market when everything is so fresh and ripe, and this recipe was born of that impulse. I was canning and pickling and cooking, and I completely forgot about the big basket of beans. And I bought a little tray of peppers in rainbow colors because they were so pretty, but I didn’t have any plan for them. So a few days later, when I rediscovered those beans, I wanted to use them in a flavorful way even though they weren’t at the very peak of freshness.

Roasting intensifies flavor, so it’s a great way to maximize beans that aren’t fresh off the vine. And it’s easy. You can prep everything ahead of time, then toss the beans and peppers with the oil at the last minute and bang them in the oven while your meat is resting. Bell peppers add wonderful bright pop to the dish and love to use a rainbow of colors – yellow, red, orange, purple. If you remembered to freeze some fresh, this is also a great way to give them a boost.

Roasted Green Beans and Peppers with Garlic
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. ¼ cup olive oil
  2. 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  3. zest and juice of one lemon
  4. 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
  5. salt and black pepper
  6. 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  7. 4 bell peppers, the more colors the better
Instructions
  1. Pour the oil into a small saucepan and gently heat over low. When the oil is warm,
  2. add the minced garlic and stir to combine. When the garlic is very fragrant, stir in lemon zest and marjoram and remove the pan from the heat. Leave to steep for at least 5 minutes, but an hour is fine.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450°. Place the beans in a spacious bowl. Remove the stem, seeds and cores from the peppers and cut into strips about as wide as the green beans. Toss them with the beans in the bowl. Drizzle the oil over the beans and peppers and toss to coat. Spread the mix on a baking sheet in one layer (you can use two sheets if needed). Salt and pepper the beans generously, then roast in the oven for 15 minutes, until the beans are still tender and crisp, but browned and charred in a few places. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the beans and serve immediately.
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