Roasted Green Beans with Shaved Bottarga Recipe

I have been eating green beans my entire life, mostly boiled or steamed, and it’s only recently that I was turned on to the sheer magic of roasting those guys.

I forget what prompted me to do so in the first place; it was probably because roasting is my method of choice for low-maintenance cooked vegetables. Whether it’s zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, or any sort of root vegetable, I fill my rimmed baking sheet even-sized chunks in a single, not too cramped layer, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and spices (shichimi togarashi — the Japanese seven-spice wonder — and garam masala are my two current favorites), massage everything in with my hands, and whoosh the sheet into the cold oven.

Besides the convenience, roasting green beans transforms them in a way no other cooking technique does. The flavor concentrates and becomes sweeter, the browned bits give off toasted notes, and the teeny tails become irresistibly crisp.

The beauty of this is I can prepare the vegetables this way a couple of hours in advance, and switch on the oven just half an hour before we’re due to have dinner. Other times I turn on the oven and program it to shut off after thirty minutes, before we all go out to run an errand. If we’re back a bit late, so much the better: the vegetables continue to soften in the residual heat and become even more delicious.

With green beans, the process is made even simpler by the fact that there’s only a bit of trimming to do — no peeling and no chopping. And because I usually deal in haricots verts, the slimmer, shorter kind of green bean that is the norm here in France, and because I get them young, freshly picked and not at all stringy, I trim them by the bunch, which saves a lot of time. You gather a little bundle of beans, aligning the stems together on the same side, and chop them all off at once with a chef’s knife. Gather, chop! Gather, chop! Aaaaand, you’re done.

Green beans, stem-end snipped.

I timed myself the other day (dork much?) and went through the full batch (600 grams or 1 1/3 pounds) in four minutes, which seems pretty good to me, though when my three-year-old is around, I’ll revert to the old-fashioned way in which he and I sit around the table to trim in concert and plop the beans into a communal colander. (Very Montessori, I know. We’re working on his technique so he doesn’t trim a full inch off the bean.)

Besides the convenience, roasting transforms green beans in a way no other cooking technique does. The flavor concentrates and becomes sweeter, the browned bits give off toasted notes, and the teeny tails become irresistibly crisp. I have occasionally over-roasted them to the point where the beans sitting in the nether regions of my oven are almost charred, and although I can’t recommend you do the same, I have to tell you charred green beans are tasty. They may become a thing.

Roasted Green Beans

I am content to eat roasted green beans on their own — and like all of my roasted vegetable concoctions I can take in quite a bit — but the other day I was inspired to garnish them with waxy shavings of bottarga, a Mediterranean delicacy of cured, salted fish roe, typically mullet. The pairing was extraordinary, the salty, faintly bitter notes of the roe rubbing against the sweetness of the green beans in all the right ways. This would serve as an elegant appetizer for a dinner party, especially during the holidays, or you could serve it over steamed rice or fresh pasta, and call it a main dish.

I got my bottarga (poutargue in French) from a lovely Italian shop in my neighborhood called RAP Epicerie. They had several kinds; I chose the bottarga di muggine, made from grey mullet roe, but I’ll try some of the others next time. Look for it at your local Italian foods shop, or order it online. It’s not cheap, but it’s powerfully flavorful so a little goes a long way.

I want to know!

What’s your favorite green bean recipe? Have you roasted them before? And have you ever tried bottarga? What do you like to do with it?

Italian grey mullet bottarga.

Italian grey mullet bottarga.

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Roasted Green Beans with Shaved Bottarga Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves 3 to 4.

Roasted Green Beans with Shaved Bottarga Recipe


  • 600 grams (1 1/3 pounds) fresh green beans, preferably the thinner kind sometimes marketed as haricots verts or French beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for cooking
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 30 grams (1 ounce) bottarga (salted and cured fish roe; look for it at your local Italian foods shop, or order it online)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. Trim the stem end of the beans. If the beans are young and not stringy, you can gather a handful into a small bunch, aligning them neatly, and chop the stem-end tips in one go with a chef's knife. If the beans are older and stringy, an individual trimming is preferable as it will give you the opportunity to pull off the strings.
  3. Green beans, stem-end snipped.
  4. Place the beans on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with the salt, and use your hands to toss and coat. Spread on the sheet in as even a layer as you can.
  5. Green beans on the sheet pan
  6. Insert into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring and flipping halfway through, until the beans are attractively wrinkled and browned in places.
  7. Green beans, roasted.
  8. Cut the bottarga into shavings using a mandolin slicer set to paper-thin (or use a very sharp knife).
  9. Shaved bottarga
  10. Divide the green beans among serving plates, scatter bottarga shavings on top, and give a few turns of the pepper mill before serving, warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Green Beans with Shaved Bottarga

  • Aisha Belhadi

    I’ve put all manner of things into my own (yes, including non-foodstuffs), but green beans never crossed my mind! Those pictures look very tempting. Definitely inspired !
    I usually steam up a big batch that I freeze for easy lunches for my two-year old. And very often, we trim the beans together. You know how that goes: after carefully trimming the first three beans, she calls it a day and goes on to munch on whatever comes her way (if we happen to be trimming around lunchtime, that’s her lunch pretty much taken care of).
    Otherwise, I like to stir-fry them with garlic and fish sauce (come to think of it, do you think the fish sauce might work in similar ways as bottarga? I’ve never tried bottarga). Another favorite is to braise them in my cocotte with an onion, some garlic if I feel like it, a chopped tomato and usually some cumin and coriander as spices. I leave them for a good half hour. The tomato and beans let out all their juices and turn soft and sweet (I only add liquid if it starts to scorch too much at the bottom). Finish off with a squeeze of lemon. Perfect with a chunk of bread to soak up the juices. The most appealing aspect of this method is that it can turn tough, stringy beans into something palatable.
    I need to try bottarga! Thanks for the inspiration

  • Candy Sidner

    wow, never thought of roasting green beans (roasted Brussel sprouts are my favorite). Can’t wait to try your recipe ideas.

  • Bríd

    Those beans do look mouthwatering! I was just wondering – I remember being told that beans contained some toxin and therefore had to be cooked. Since I didn’t want to wipe out my family (or at least give them severe tummy aches) I’ve always stuck to that. But perhaps that applies mainly to the likes of kidney beans and not so much to the’ fleshier’ green bean variety. Possibly just any kind of heating process will eliminate the harmful substances?

    • Sherlie Magaret

      I have never heard of raw green beans having a toxin but we used to pressure can a lot of green beans when I was a child and when we opened the jar, we had to boil them for several minutes before we ate them because of botulism which could happen if they weren’t processed properly. Perhaps that is what you have heard about. I have eaten raw beans in the garden and I am still here.

    • Annabel Smyth

      Green beans are fine and you can eat them raw if you want to; it’s red kidney beans that must be boiled for at least ten minutes to kill any toxins.

  • rachelsloan79

    Roasting is my default method for veg as well, but now that I think of it, I’m pretty sure I’ve never tried it with green beans – this will have to change! I’ve had bottarga in pasta (I’m very lucky to have a great little Sardinian restaurant a two-minute walk from my flat) and liked it, but I’ve never cooked with it myself and hadn’t thought to combine it with vegetables. Just one question though – how long does it keep once you’ve opened the packet?

  • Sherlie Magaret

    Green beans is one of my favorite vegetables and has been all of my life, although when I think about it, I really do like all and if they are the current veggie in the garden, any of them are my favs. I raise green beans in my garden and I am still picking and I have frozen quite a few packages. My favorite way to eat them is steamed in a little water along with some chopped bacon and/or onion. Then the cook’s treat is drinking the leftover bean juice. Yummmmm! I will have to give roasting them a try.

  • Srinivas Krishnaswamy

    Green beans is a staple diet for vegetarians in my country (India). You will be amazed at the variety of ways green beans can be cooked. Onions, shaved tender coconut, roasted green beans in coconut oil and mustard seeds, beans gravy with lentils and the list is endless.

    • I had no idea green beans were so present in India! But of course it’s such a rich, multi-faceted cuisine there’s lots and lots I don’t know.

      I love the idea of roasted green beans with onion, coconut shavings, and mustard seeds. Could you run us through the details of how you would prepare such a dish?

      • Srinivas Krishnaswamy

        Here is one variation of beans we make at home:

        Cut green beans into 0.2-inch pieces. The finer the better. Make sure the ends are trimmed and any fiber on the sides are removed before chopping the beans finely.

        In a pan, add a tablespoon of coconut oil and once is heated, add a pinch of turmeric powder, mustard seeds (1 or 2 teaspoons). When the mustard seeds start popping, add split white lentils (1 teaspoon) and dried red chillies, broken into 2 or 3 pieces, for heat (depending on how hot you want the beans to be). Wait till the white lentil seeds and the dried chillies are roasted.

        Now add the finely chopped green beans and stir well. Add salt depending on your taste. Keep it lightly covered for 5 to 10 minutes and stir occasionally till the beans are cooked. Now add finely grated tender coconut (a tablespoon or two). Switch off the stove immediately and stir the mixture. The idea to keep the coconut tender and not let it roast too much.

        We call this “beans curry” and have it as one of the dishes to go with rice, lentil “sambhar” and friend papadum.

        A variation of the beans curry will be to replace the coconut with finely chopped onions. In this case, the onions are fried along with mustard, white lentils and red chillies. You can also add a little bit of readymade sambhaar powder for added flavor (along with turmeric).

  • Maureen Brady Moran
  • lifehungry

    These veggies look amazing! I took my first trip to Paris 2 weeks ago, and I found an AMAZING fresh local market called the Marché Place Baudoyer. If you haven’t been, you should definitely go the next Saturday morning you’re free and pick up some veggies for your next recipe. If you want to see what I found there, take a look at the blog I just posted about it:

  • Annabel Smyth

    Sadly, it’s almost impossible to buy green beans here that haven’t been airlifted in from Kenya, even at the height of the season. And as I refuse to buy those, we do without. Although having said that, Lidl sometimes has local ones….

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