This is a heartier take on a classic dish that typically pairs green beans and almonds. Slivered almonds are accompanied by a little extra spice and a hint of sweetness. The lemon-dressed quinoa pilaf adds moisture to help steam the green beans, while imparting all of its bright flavour. Be sure to select young, tender beans for maximum flavour and a beautiful delicate texture.
1 cup (250 mL) water1/2 cup (125 mL) tricolour quinoa 3 Tbsp (45 mL) slivered almonds2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided1/4 tsp (1 mL) crushed red pepper flakes1/2 tsp (2 mL) maple syrup2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed2 shallots, finely sliced1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt2 tsp (10 mL) lemon zest1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice14 oz (400 g) French green beans
In small saucepan, bring water to a boil, add quinoa, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, or until fully cooked.
Meanwhile, in medium-sized skillet, toast almonds in 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes, until just golden brown. Add red pepper flakes and cook for a minute more. Remove from heat, add maple syrup, stir thoroughly, pour onto plate, and set aside to cool.
In same skillet, add remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil and sauté garlic and shallots on medium-low heat, until just soft. Add cooked quinoa, stir for a few minutes, and remove from heat. Add salt, lemon zest, and juice to quinoa and allow to cool.
When quinoa is cool, combine with green beans and toasted almonds and pack into parchment packets and store as required (see tip).
When ready to cook, place packets on baking sheet and either cook in preheated 400 F (200 C) oven for 7 to 10 minutes or place baking sheet on an outdoor grill. Do not allow parchment paper to come in contact with open flame, and be careful when opening packets to avoid the hot steam.
calories171 protein6 g total fat 7 g sat. fat1 g total carbohydrates 24 g sugars3 g fibre6 gsodium162 mg
Parchment package perfection
To assemble parchment packets in advance and pack them for travel, cut parchment paper into 4 pieces measuring approximately 20 x 14 in (50 x 35 cm). On large work surface, lay parchment pieces out flat and divide bean mixture among the parchment pieces. Seal packets by folding long edges of parchment toward the centre, rolling, and crimping up edges.
If you’re cooking on an open grill, you may prefer aluminum foil, which can be placed directly on hot coals or on the grate of a hot grill.
For longer trips, the pilaf and almonds can be made in advance, packed separately, and mixed with beans when ready to cook.
Once cooked, this dish is also great served as a cold salad.