These green beans were inspired by some fancy sugarsnap peas I had at a restaurant called Gjelina in Los Angeles some years ago now, but still one of the best places I have ever eaten, full of vibrant veg-based dishes that sang with flavour, and a price tag to match. I have recreated them here for an absolute fraction of the cost, which is a thing I like to do. They’re a brilliant side dish for a barbecue, or you can mix them with some fresh spinach or salad greens for a delicious salad, or top with black beans, white beans or protein of your choice for a more substantial meal.
200g green beans, fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon oil, sunflower or groundnut, plus a little extra to serve
1 teaspoon cumin seeds or ground cumin or garam masala
2 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
a few sprigs of mint
150g natural plain yoghurt
a fistful of parsley or coriander, to serve
zest of ½ lemon or 2 teaspoons bottled lemon juice, to serve
a pinch of chilli flakes, to serve
If using frozen green beans, rinse them thoroughly with a blast of cold water and pop them in the microwave for 2 minutes to warm through. Pat dry and set to one side.
If using fresh beans, top and tail them.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, or better still, a griddle pan if you have one.
Toss in the green beans and cumin or garam masala and cook over a high heat until the beans are softened and charred in places.
Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the garlic.
Finely chop the mint leaves. Stir the garlic and mint into the yoghurt.
Roughly chop the coriander or parsley, discarding any tough stalks.
Serve the beans atop your chosen herb, with the yoghurt drizzled over, a little extra oil, a grating of lemon zest or a dash of juice, and a scattering of chilli flakes.
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