Rosemary is huge in Spanish cooking and sometimes it turns up in unexpected places, like this side dish of string beans tossed with oil that's been perfumed with rosemary, garlic and lemon. Lemon-scented olive oil is available in many grocery stores now, but it can be pricey. If you're up for it, try my homemade version that follows this recipe. These are delicious at room temperature so they can be made a little ahead. That and the fact that there is no mayonnaise, makes them a lovely dish for a picnic or barbecue on a hot day.
- 1/2 pound haricots verts, ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon lemon-olive oil, homemade, recipe follows or store-bought, or plain extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 sprig rosemary
- Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Slip in the beans and cook until bright green and crisp-tender. Remove the beans to an ice bath to shock, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Gently heat the olive oil and rosemary in a large, deep skillet over low heat until the rosemary is softened and very fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the rosemary sprig, raise the heat to medium-high, and add the string beans. Toss to coat with the rosemary-lemon scented oil until the beans are heated through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Lemon-Infused Olive Oil:
- 1 lemon, zested
- 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Put the lemon zest in a small pot and pour in 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil. Place over low heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool completely and transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Keep tightly sealed at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Dress grilled chicken or any simply vegetable with the oil. When tomatoes are in season, a simple dish of sliced tomato dressed with this oil and a sprinkling of oregano is a meal unto itself.