As most of you know I tend to be a ‘theme’ cook, meaning I like to center a meal around a series of spices or international flavors. And during the holidays, you can throw in color…especially red and green. This seasonal green bean recipe comes from a favorite restaurant in Sonoma County called Rosso Pizzeria which features an ingredient that is an exciting discovery: smoked olive oil.
When I first encountered smoked olive oil at the farmers’ market, the purist in me kept me walking. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around olive oil and barbecue. But then curiosity took hold and persuaded me to at least try the product to make an educated assessment first hand. I am now a complete convert and find that I’m using a variety of flavors year round and not just for grilling.
Two years ago Al Hartman and Brenda Chatelain created The Smoked Olive Company, producer of a unique blend of olive oils with a range of smoky flavors. Al has food in his veins. As the grandson of two chefs, he spent the last 40-plus years around butcher shops and smoked meats. Al’s natural curiously about food inspired him to pursue a career in oils, searching for the ultimate smoke flavor.
Al and Brenda don’t use just any ingredients for their product line. They start with premium local extra virgin olive oil and cold smoke it with different types of wood. They smoke the oil absent of heat, air and light which can destroy flavor and quality. There are no preservatives or chemicals used in the process and their proprietary blend has a patent pending. They currently have three flavors which can be purchased online or in many gourmet food and kitchen stores. Trust me…they make great stocking stuffers, too – or so says Santa:)
Roasted Green Beans with Smoked Olive Oil – Serves 6
You can use any flavor of the smoked olive oils…the Sonoma is my favorite and the Santa Fe gives it a little kick. It’s seasonal and colorful and the perfect side dish for Christmas.
1-1/2 pounds Romano or green beans, trimmed and lightly steamed
4 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cut & cored – or 1 can Muir Glen organic roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 T chopped garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 T agave syrup
1/2 tsp chopped rosemary
4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp grated lemon zest
4 tsp Sonoma Smoked Olive Oil
6 T extra virgin olive oil
For the vinaigrette – roast tomatoes & garlic over medium heat until reduced by 3/4; or use canned and saute with garlic for about 5 minutes. Add agave, rosemary and sea salt. Whisk in vinegar, lemon zest and both oils.
Roast the Romano beans over medium-high heat with sea salt until toasty and tender. Garnish with the tomato vinaigrette and finish with a generous drizzle of Sonoma Smoked Olive Oil.