Harissa Roasted Green Beans

Ann Fulton

By Ann Fulton

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A singular condiment adds culinary magic to simply roasted vegetables, in this case, transforming basic green beans into a restaurant-worthy side dish. Best part? It takes less than 15 minutes start to finish! 

A singular condiment adds culinary magic to simply roasted vegetables, in this case, transforming basic green beans into a restaurant-worthy side dish. The best part? The dish takes less than 15 minutes start to finish! 

 

 

 

When we’re not familiar with a recipe ingredient, let alone know where to look for it in the grocery store, it’s easy to skip over that recipe.

What if I told you, however, that adding harissa paste to your grocery list would reward you with a side dish that is as easy as it is flavorful?

For good measure, I will back that up with a list of other recipes and quick ways to make use of the singular condiment, lest your new purchase go to waste. 

 

But first, this recipe brings back memories of snapping beans as a child and later teaching my own children, who liked to use a plastic knife to cut off the stem ends.

When the beans are really fresh, I like to leave the end with the little tendril. It’s delicate and pretty and adds visual appeal to the dish-and there’s 50% less prep involved! I always do remove the stem end, which isn’t so pleasant to chew.

The following recipe is a variation my blistered green bean recipe, which is barebones and centered on technique. With both recipes, the process is quick, easy, and incredibly tasty, as it concentrates the flavor while coaxing out the vegetable’s natural sweetness.

The texture is lovely, too, as the beans soften yet retain an element of firmness as a good bit of the moisture cooks out. In other words, no mushy green beans!

Accordingly, you may absolutely use the following method without adding the harissa. However, the simple addition will add a complexity that makes ordinary green beans seem gourmet. (My family actually goes back for seconds of this vegetable!)

Leftover harissa roasted green beans are delicious as is or mixed into various salad bowls. I generally warm them but snack on them cold, too.

It may seem strange, but I love dipping the leftover beans into hummus. I was recently thinking that a simple rice, couscous, or quinoa bowl including these beans and hummus as the “dressing” would be a filling, well rounded, and delicious light meal.

A handful of halved cherry tomatoes would add vibrant color, and chopped cucumber, black olives, and almonds or walnuts would complement nicely, too. In addition to the hummus, chicken or shrimp would provide an additional filling source of protein. 

 

I mentioned in my recipe for Mediterranean Roasted Cauliflower (with that scrumptious Tahini-Harissa Sauce!) that the spice level of harissa varies greatly from brand to brand. Generally speaking, domestic varieties tend to be less spicy, while imported brands (harissa is a staple in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine), tend to deliver more heat.  

The jar I most recently purchased was labeled as spicy, although one tablespoon of it used in these green beans did not translate into a dish that anyone at the table deemed “hot.” For those who are specifically looking for a mild harissa, I have used and enjoyed Roland’s harissa, which has a hint of sweetness and a flavor similar to an American chili powder, only in paste form.

 

Looking for more ideas?

For those who wish to further experiment, adding a can of white beans, like chickpeas (rinsed, drained, and patted dry) to the recipe could be an excellent start of a protein-rich plant-based meal. In that case, I’d add an extra half to full tablespoon of olive oil and harissa-you want enough to lightly coat-and roast them along with the green beans.

You could serve with a cooked grain of choice, stirring a spoonful of harissa into that, too, and adding a squeeze of lemon to brighten the flavor. 

Flavor-wise, shrimp would also be a welcome addition, but I would cook it separately because it will require less time in the oven than the green beans. If experimenting, I would use similar amounts—one tablespoon each olive oil and harissa—for each pound of peeled and deveined shrimp.

Of course, if you try any of these ideas before I do, please report back!

A singular condiment adds culinary magic to simply roasted vegetables, in this case, transforming basic green beans into a restaurant-worthy side dish. Best part? It takes less than 15 minutes start to finish! 

If harissa paste isn’t already on your radar, the flavorful condiment is worth seeking out, if only to make this super simple side dish a regular on the rotation. The deep red condiment, which originated in Tunisia, is made from chili peppers and spices and can be found in the international aisle of many large grocery stores and smaller specialty markets. 

A singular condiment adds culinary magic to simply roasted vegetables, in this case, transforming basic green beans into a restaurant-worthy side dish. Best part? It takes less than 15 minutes start to finish! 

Note that harissa paste is different than a dried spice variation that is often found in the spice aisle.

A singular condiment adds culinary magic to simply roasted vegetables, in this case, transforming basic green beans into a restaurant-worthy side dish. Best part? It takes less than 15 minutes start to finish! 

The upper rack of a hot oven and two simple ingredients (plus a sprinkle of salt) are all that’s required to transform green beans into a memorable side dish.

A singular condiment adds culinary magic to simply roasted vegetables, in this case, transforming basic green beans into a restaurant-worthy side dish. Best part? It takes less than 15 minutes start to finish! 

Once the fresh green beans are tossed with the harissa, olive oil, and salt, they are spread in an even layer on a baking sheet.

A singular condiment adds culinary magic to simply roasted vegetables, in this case, transforming basic green beans into a restaurant-worthy side dish. Best part? It takes less than 15 minutes start to finish! 

There’s no need to grease or spray the baking sheet and the cooking time is short!

A singular condiment adds culinary magic to simply roasted vegetables, in this case, transforming basic green beans into a restaurant-worthy side dish. Best part? It takes less than 15 minutes start to finish! 

Roasting the green beans on the top rack of the oven allows them to become golden brown and lightly caramelized without over-cooking. A bit of a shriveled look is a good thing, as some of the natural moisture cooks out and the flavors concentrate. 

 

When I use an ingredient that may be new to many, I like to provide multiple ways to enjoy it so nothing goes to waste. To that end, following are several other recipes along with a few quick flavor upgrades. Dare I say harissa may become a repeat grocery purchase!

What are some other recipes that use harissa paste?

A few other ways to enjoy harissa paste that don’t require a recipe:

  • In burgers: stir a spoonful of harissa into the ground beef or turkey before shaping the patties
  • And then give the ketchup or mayo you use on those burgers an upgrade by mixing in some harissa
  • Add an extra dimension of flavor to hummus by stirring in some harissa paste
  • Use harissa as a spice rub for chicken, pork, lamb, or fish
  • Stir some of the paste into scramble eggs
  • Make a savory yogurt sauce by adding harissa and a squeeze of lemon juice to plain Greek yogurt (I like whole milk yogurt for this)
  • Use harissa paste as a simple pasta sauce with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice 
  • Stir into soups that feature root and winter vegetables like carrot or butternut squash
  • Experiment with a variety of roasted vegetables, from carrots to broccoli, following the framework of green bean recipe below and adjusting for various cooking times
  • Stir harissa into cooked rice, couscous, or another grain of choice 
Your choice of fish (halibut is a personal favorite) simmers to tender perfection for a super speedy meal that's bursting with flavor. The easy sauce can be customized in a surprisingly simple way, making this meal a favorite with adults and kids alike. 

Harrisa Roasted Green Beans offer a lovely side to Salsa Simmered Fish, a super-easy, flavor-packed meal in its own right.

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

 

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Comments

    1. AnnAnn Post author

      Hi Hope, I mention in the post that harissa paste can be found in the international aisle of many large grocery stores and smaller specialty markets and that spiciness can vary from one brand to the next, with foreign brands often being on the spicier side. There are a few more details within the post, although there is a specific “what is harissa” section in my last post, which you can read here if you like: https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/roasted-mediterranean-cauliflower/
      Hope this is helpful!

      Reply
  1. AvatarBarb

    So simple and so delicious! We often roast our veggies and this is such a simple addition that gives green beans a different twist. We will be trying this for other veggies, too. We had never tried harissa and I accidentally bought the spicy version. I have trouble with many spicy foods but this was easy for my system to handle. Definitely give it a try and don’t be afraid of “spicy”!

    Reply
    1. AnnAnn Post author

      Thanks so much for your comment, Barb. I’m delighted the recipe is a keeper and that the harissa was a pleasant surprise, spice level and all!

      Reply