Elevate plain green beans with lemon ricotta! Wow, this was a great combination! Refreshing and easy, and pretty enough for a party! Epicurious wrote a post a few years back about combining green beans and ricotta cheese, but it had too much saturated fat. However! We pulled up the recipe yesterday, and played with the stats until it fit K2.0 perfectly! We used fat-free ricotta, and replaced the saturated fat with healthy olive oil. Then we brightened it up with garlic and extra lemon (instead of salt) and it was fantastic! Theirs is a cold dish, but we warmed ours up for a cozy fall meal.
Why is this dish healthy?
Green beans are a healthy source of Vitamin C, dietary fiber, Vitamin K, and Silicon, which is needed for healthy bones, skin and hair. Low or no-fat Ricotta cheese is a good source of Vitamin B-2, calcium, and Selenium, which plays an important role in thyroid health. Extra virgin olive oil is well known as a healthy fat because it has high amounts of Vitamins K and E. The most interesting compounds in EVOO are oleuropein and oleocanthal, two polyphenols with purported anti-inflammatory properties.
How do we make it?
Combine a 15oz container of fat-free ricotta with a tablespoon of good quality olive oil, the juice of 1/2 large lemon, and the zest of the whole lemon. Blend with an egg beater.
Heat an oven-safe platter for 15 minutes on 400º. Shmear the ricotta on the platter, and top with green beans that have been either grilled or roasted. (We roasted ours for 15 minutes on 400º and then broiled them until they were charred.) Add more lemon zest on top. Green Beans with Lemon Ricotta is as beautiful to look at as it was delicious to eat.
I can’t even explain how good this was! As you can see, the beans weren’t drenched in the ricotta. Just enough to make them great. There was loads of ricotta left over, which we’ll use in our leftover game this week! It would be perfect to have on our vegetable pizza.
Green Beans with Lemon Ricotta
- 1 lb fresh green beans
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 10 oz fat-free Ricotta cheese
- 2 large lemons
- 1 Tbsp granulated garlic
- Preheat the oven to 400º.
- Wash and trim green beans, sprinkle them with granulated garlic, and arrange them in a single layer on a large sheet pan.
- In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, the juice of ½ lemon, the zest of the whole lemon, and olive oil. Blend well with a hand mixer. Spread on an oven-safe platter, and set aside.
- Roast the green beans in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Turn on broiler, put the sheet pan of beans on the top shelf, under the broiler. Place the platter (with ricotta on it) on a lower shelf in the oven, to warm.
- After the beans are sufficiently charred, remove everything from the oven. Arrange green beans on top of ricotta, and grate additional zest on top. Serve right away.