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Green Beans with Pangrattato

by Annalisa Brown (follow)
Vegetarian (1389)      Vegetables (431)      Make Ahead (275)      Bread (218)      Side Dish (153)      Green Beans (9)      Oregano (5)      Breadcrumbs (2)      Lemon Zest (1)     
A toasted spiced breadcrumb is an unlikely alternative when garnishing food but Pangrattato or “poor man’s parmesan cheese” enhances plates with style and chic. It’s commonly used with pasta (hence the reference) or with vegetables or used as a crumb topping on seafood.

Folklore suggests Pangratto originated during Italy’s most oppressed years when the poor couldn’t afford parmesan cheese and instead of skimping on flavour, ingenious grandmothers would fry breadcrumbs, garlic, lemon zest and salt as a substitute, so families could still enjoy their pasta.

My version is without oil, as I prefer to dry fry my breadcrumbs and keep the recipe healthy and fat-free. I also used oregano instead of garlic to spice up the flavour. This recipe also freezes extremely well and can be made in bulk for use later.

Having bought a bucketful of green beans from the farmer’s growers market, I decided to liven up this batch of green beans by adding pangrattato to this vegetable dish.

Green Beans with Pangrattato or Poor Man's Parmesan Cheese.


Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Makes: 2 entree servings

Ingredients
250g green beans
2 slices of stale bread (I used crusty sourdough loaf)
Lemon zest (1/2 lemon)
Teaspoon of oregano
Small knob of Butter
Parmesan cheese to garnish (optional)

Key Ingredients for the Pangrattato - bread, lemon zest and oregano.


Method
Blanching the green beans
In a saucepan, bring water to the boil, add salt to the water and add beans.

Cook for 4 minutes (beans should retain a crunchy texture).

After 4 minutes, remove the beans and drain under cold running water, then set aside.

Making the Pangrattato
Place the stale bread under the grill or dry fry in a saucepan.

Toast bread until golden brown, set aside and allow to cool.

Grill or Dry Fry the bread slices.


Break the bread into chunk size pieces and place into a blender.

Add the lemon zest and oregano and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Chunks of toasted bread, lemon zest and oregano.


Season with a little salt and pepper and set aside.

Season the Pangrattato with a little salt and pepper.


Return the green beans to the saucepan and add a small knob of butter, tossing the beans through until coated and warmed.

Place the green beans on a serving plate and scatter with the pangrattato.

For extra flavour, grate a little Parmesan cheese over the Pangrattato and serve with fish, chicken or meat.

Serve the Green Beans with Pangrattato as a side dish with fish, chicken or meat.


Categories
#Green Beans
#Breadcrumbs
#Bread
#Oregano
#Lemon Zest
#Vegetarian
#Vegetables
#Side Dish
#Make Ahead
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