|Adding Charmoula Sauce turns plain steamed green beans and carrots into a gourmet treat!|
I don't think there are any awards for Thanksgiving side dishes, but if there were I'd nominate this dish of Steamed Green Beans and Carrots as the Most Interesting New Side Dish. And when I say interesting, what I mean is we couldn't stop eating it, all the while remarking how plain steamed green beans and carrots had been transferred into something amazing by the sauce. Charmoula is sometimes referred to as cilantro pesto, and it's a North African sauce made of chopped herbs and spices. It's often used as a sauce on fish, which is probably the next way I'll trying using it. Charmoula is also fairly similar to Chimichurri Sauce, which is a South American sauce served on meat. If you're not a cilantro fan, I think you could adapt this recipe to use more parsley and less cilantro and get a good result, but I'm not sure how it would work with no cilantro at all.
I would love to make this for Thanksgiving, but I'm going to my sister Sandee's house where there are a few confirmed cilantro haters, so I may have to just enjoy it at home! It's a little hard to believe, but I've been experimenting with Low-Glycemic Thanksgiving Recipes for the last six Thanksgivings, and this recipe will be added to that page in the recipe index. There are also some good recipes ideas there for using leftover turkey, if you're cooking a big bird this year.
This recipe will look prettiest if you use the thin French-style green beans, although I'm sure regular beans will also taste great. Start by trimming the ends of the green beans and then cutting the carrots into thin strips that are the same thickness as the beans. (I cut the carrots slightly shorter than the beans.)
I used this wonderful vegetable steamer that I inherited from my stepmother Norma, but if you don't have a steamer you can rig one up with a small metal colander inside a pan. The pan you use for steaming needs to have a lid. Start steaming the carrots first, because they take longer to cook.
Once carrots have steamed for about 3 minutes, add the beans and steam for 4-5 minutes more. The vegetables should still be slightly tender-crisp; check one after four minutes to see how they're doing.
To make the sauce, use a food processor to chop the garlic, parsley, and cilantro, then add the olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, ground cumin, and salt, and pulse until it's well combined and chopped.
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe from Fine Cooking with minor adaptations by Kalyn)
1 lb. French-style green beans, ends trimmed
1/2 lb. carrots, trimmed into sticks the same thickness as beans (I cut the carrots slightly shorter than the beans)
1 large clove garlic, slightly chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T lemon juice (I use my fresh-frozen lemon juice)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. hot or smoked paprika
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Add a few inches of water to a steamer (or large pot with a steamer insert) and bring to a boil. While water is heating, trim the ends of the green beans, and cut carrots into sticks about the same thickness as the beans. When water starts to boil and steam, add the carrots and steam for 3 minutes. Then add green beans and steam for 4-5 minutes more, or until all the vegetables are tender-crisp.
While the vegetables are steaming, chop the garlic a few times and wash, dry, and coarsely chop the cilantro and parsley. Add garlic, cilantro, and parsley to food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse until the herbs and garlic are starting to look finely chopped. Then add the olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, and ground cumin and pulse until all ingredients are combined. (I'd start with the smaller amount of paprika and cumin and taste to see if you want more.) Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
When the vegetables are done, drain for a few minutes and then place them in a bowl and toss with about half the sauce. Arrange vegetables on a serving platter and spoon over the rest of the sauce. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper as desired, and serve hot or warm.
Make-Ahead Tips for Thanksgiving: The sauce can be made one day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature before using in the recipe.
South Beach Suggestions:
The use of carrots in this recipe would make it limited to phase 2 or 3 for the South Beach Diet.
More Thanksgiving-Worthy Ideas with Green Beans and Carrots:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Maple-Glazed Roasted Carrots from Kalyn's Kitchen
Garlic Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds from Kalyn's Kitchen
Balsamic Green Beans and Onions from What We're Eating
Roasted Carrots with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette from Steamy Kitchen
Pan-Braised Carrots with Orange and Rosemary from Leite's Culinaria
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)