So, this is the Barefoot Bloggers’ “Week of the Contessa,” and while I’m not making all five recipes (because I enjoy walking through doorways without turning to the side), I couldn’t resist Ina Garten’s Roasted Potato Leek Soup or these French String Beans with Roasted Red Onion and Peppers.

There’s no telling how many times I’ve reached for a can of these, just to get something green(ish) on the dinner plate, so I was eager to see how different the fresh beans, onions and peppers would be. The process of blanching the beans, roasting the onion and peppers and combining everything together takes just under 30 minutes, but LOOK AT THEM. The beans stay bright green and sweet, and they’re not cooked to mush. Roasting the vegetables intensifies their flavor, but they keep their shape and color.

Best of all, at the end of the meal, these beans were GONE. If you’ve ever had to drain and scrape canned beans into the trash at the end of the meal, you know that’s a big deal. A major victory. And a side to get excited about.

French String Beans with Roasted Red Onion and Peppers

Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot in Paris”

Serves 6

  • 1 pound French string beans, both ends removed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 red onion, large-diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, large-diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, large-diced
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the beans for 4 minutes. Drain immediately and immerse in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When they are cool, drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the onion and bell peppers with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast for 15 minutes, tossing with a spatula from time to time to be sure the vegetables roast evenly.
  4. Just before serving, reheat the string beans in a large saute pan drizzled with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and arrange on a platter. Spoon the roasted vegetables over the string beans, and serve hot or at room temperature.