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Moroccan green beans with lemon-cumin vinaigrette

Moroccan-inspired green beans, still crunchy, with lemon-cumin dressing. Perfect for the holiday table or any time. #vegan #glutenfree

Many years ago, my husband Ted and I joined his sister and her friends for a Thanksgiving meal at a lakeside cottage in the Ontario (Canada) countryside. It was a bit of a potluck, and because we were from out of town, we were assigned celery and carrot sticks as our contribution. At first, I thought it wasn't much to ask of us, but when we arrived, we found that our little plate of celery sticks was the only green thing on the table. All brown --turkey, gravy, potatoes and more potatoes -- and orange (carrots and sweet potatoes), and a small bowl of red cranberry sauce. All the colors of the Fall foliage, replicated on the table top. There wasn't a salad or a green vegetable in sight.

When I plan my own holiday meals, I always include several green dishes. In place of the traditional green beans topped with onion strings, I like something light and crunchy, like these barely cooked Moroccan green beans with a hint of lemon. They are a lovely, and unexpected, fresh flavor to counterbalance the heavy potatoes and gravy. Blanch the beans ahead of time, to make things easy on the cook, and finish assembling the dish 15 minutes or so before you're ready to serve.

Fresh, barely cooked green beans, with a Moroccan lemon-cumin dressing. So easy! #vegan #glutenfree

Moroccan green beans with lemon-cumin vinaigrette {vegan, gluten-free}

From the pantry, you'll need: roasted red pepper, onion, parsley, lemon, cumin, extra virgin olive oil.

Serves 3-4; can be multiplied.


12 oz green beans
2 Tbsp chopped roasted red pepper (from a jar is fine)
1 Tbsp chopped or sliced onion
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin, or more to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Trim the green beans, removing the ends and the strings, and cut or break them into 1-inch pieces.

Prepare a mixing bowl with several inches of ice water, and set aside.

Set a sauce pan with 2 inches of water on the stove top, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans, and cook for 2 minutes, until the beans are just slightly past the raw stage. Remove with a slotted spoon and dump the beans into the bowl of ice water, to stop the cooking and set the bright green color (this is called blanching).

Add the red pepper and onion to another mixing bowl. Lift the beans out of the ice water, and dry them in a clean dish towel. Add them to the pepper and onion.

In a small jar, combine the lemon juice, olive oil and cumin. Shake to bring everything together, and taste. If you like a stronger cumin flavor, add a pinch more.

Pour the dressing over the beans, and toss in the parsley. Gently mix everything together, and serve at room temperature.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More green beans to brighten up your menu:
Green beans with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, from The Perfect Pantry
Spicy green beans with ginger and garlic, from The Perfect Pantry
Green beans with whole grain mustard and honey vinaigrette, from White on Rice Couple
Roasted green beans with mushrooms, balsamic, and parmesan, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Green beans with lemon and toasted almonds, from Cookin' Canuck

Moroccan green beans with a lemon-cumin dressing brighten up your holiday table. #vegan #glutenfree

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I love the sound of these beans, and I agree, green vegetables are a Must-Have for Thanksgiving! Thanks for the mention of my roasted green beans with mushrooms!

Green beans are always part of our TXG meal, but usually very simple, sauteed with almonds. Love your take on it with the touch of cumin.... delicious!

I made your fish with chermoula on Sunday and it was fantastic. I blanked on what to make for a simple green vegetable that would have a hint of related flavors so I just made steamed broccoli. Next time I'll make these green beans. They would be a perfect counterpoint to the heavier chermoula flavors.

Kalyn, some day I want to try putting together a totally green Thanksgiving dinner. Not sure my family would love green mashed potatoes, but it would be fun to try it!

Sally, green beans are traditional, but I never liked them covered with those canned stringy onions. There are so many more ways to prepare them -- even raw.

Mary, what a great combination. And thanks for the reminder to make fish with chermoula more often.

This sounds fresh and lovely, and an easy dish that can be made ahead. For some inexplicable reason, I adore making roasted peppers, so mine will be from scratch. Bonus: leftover peppers will make for an extra-yummy turkey sandwich. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Lorna, I love the idea of leftover roasted red peppers in a turkey sandwich! I am definitely going to do that this year.

In the 11/11/15 food section of the New York Times there's a photo of a Thanksgiving table. Nothing there has the beautiful colors of this dish!
Nearly the whole section is devoted to the holiday, and it's worth looking for. Here's the photo online, and recipes from and links to the articles online -- http://cooking.nytimes.com/ I made the 'firey' sweet potatoes last night, using red curry paste.

Susan, thanks so much. I did see that in the paper on Wednesday. They need these bright green beans, don't they? I love incorporating some nontraditional flavors, like curry paste, on the holiday menu.

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