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Green Beans and Carrots in Charmoula Sauce

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Serves 10 to 12

Charmoula is a North African pesto of sorts, usually made from garlic, cumin, fresh herbs, oil, and lemon juice. Here, paprika adds a warm note to the mix. This vibrant side dish tastes great hot, warm, or at room temperature.
 

  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 oz. fresh cilantro (about 2 cups)
  • 1 oz. fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 1 cup)
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet or hot paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • Sea salt
  • 2 lb. slender green beans, trimmed
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into thin 4-inch-long sticks
     
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Chop the garlic in a food processor. Add the cilantro and parsley and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, ground cumin, and 3/4 tsp. salt. Pulse until the sauce has the consistency of rough pesto. Season to taste with salt.

In a large pot fitted with a steamer insert, bring an inch of water to a boil over high heat. Steam the green beans, covered, until just tender, 4 to 7 minutes. Pull the steamer basket from the pot, shake to remove excess water, and transfer the beans to a large serving bowl; cover to keep warm. Add the carrots to the basket and steam, covered, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer them to the bowl with the beans.

Toss the vegetables with about three-quarters of the charmoula sauce. Season to taste with more sauce, salt, and pepper.

Make Ahead Tips

The charmoula sauce can be made one day ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container; let it sit out at room temperature for at least an hour before tossing it with the hot vegetables.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 100; Fat (g): 7; Fat Calories (kcal): 60; Saturated Fat (g): 1; Protein (g): 2; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): 9; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 180; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Loved these vegetables. The sauce was so fresh and went great with my spicy lamb dish. Definite keeper.

Since this recipe had my two favorite veggies, a sauce that sounded interesting and had received good reviews, I thought I would try it to see if it was a dish I wanted to serve at this year's Christmas dinner. It was good but I found the flavors of the sauce somewhat overwhelming. I don't think that it will be a candidate for Christmas dinner especially since it would be served next to a lot of other rich dishes.

A versatile sauce, try it with other dishes. I made home-made hummus, put a mound on a plate and poured this sauce around and over the hummus. Made an impressive presentation and was a delicious and colorful addition to hummus which can sometimes look rather plain. Of course you can always cheat a bit and use it with store bought hummus, your guests will still be impressed.

simple recipe with a complex sauce. The sauce is better made in advance. Used Haricot verts and locally grown carrots. My 85 diners loved it. Outstanding recipe.

This recipe received rave reviews from my family members at Thanksgiving this year. I was afraid it would be too lemony, but everyone loved it.

Made this for our Thanksgiving dinner as the Oct/Nov 2011 "Fine Cooking" magazine had suggested and we're glad we did. The charmoula sauce lent the dish an unusual but interesting taste to what could be the standard fare of green beans and carrots. Definitely a keeper.

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