Green Beans with a Mountain of Panko is my latest statement side dish invention! Blanched beans smothered in a billowy tahini yogurt sauce piled high with a mountain of crunchy parmesan panko breadcrumbs. Easy. Make-ahead. Snack-worthy!
My latest green bean side dish invention
Today’s dish has me deep in the throes of a green-bean-munching obsession. It’s supposed to be a vegetable side, but to me it’s an enormous pile of snacking-worthy food that you literally cannot stop eating once you start.
Let me paint the picture for you.
There’s a good amount of unremarkable looking blanched green beans. (Nobody is jumping up and down at this stage.)
They’re smothered with a generous amount of billowy tahini yogurt sauce (people start to perk up). Then an enormous mound of golden salty parmesan panko is piled on top (people start gathering).
Then said people dig in. And they quickly realise that the sauce acts as a glue so you get a generous amount of parmesan-panko crunch with every bite of green bean……
If every vegetable side dish was this amazing, EVERYBODY would eat their greens!!!
Here’s what you need to make your new favourite green beans recipe!
Yes! You need green beans for this recipe!! 😂
whipped tahini yogurt sauce
This is my current favourite sauce that I’ve been using excessively on “everything”, such as the recent Sweet Potato Steaks and Pan Fried Eggplant. “Whipped” sounds fancy for a sauce that takes 20 seconds to whisk!! 😂 I use the name as a clue of the texture which is more light and fluffy than a basic yogurt sauce. It’s almost like soft whipped cream.
Plain yoghurt – Not sweetened, and not flavoured.
Tahini – Paste made with sesame seeds. Usually found in the health food aisle at grocery stores. Use hulled tahini (more common), not un-hulled which is darker and more bitter. The jar label will specify which it is. Use Chinese sesame paste as a sub if you have leftovers from other recipes I’ve shared, like this one or this one!
Lemon – For tangy lemon flavour.
Garlic – Because it makes it tastier. Finely grate it using a microplane so you don’t have big lumps in the sauce.
Parmesan and panko breadcrumbs fried up in olive oil until golden and crunchy. You know it’s gonna be good!
Panko breadcrumbs – A Japanese breadcrumb favoured for the extra-crispy coating it gives crumbed foods. You can buy it at most big supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths) in the Asian foods section and Asian stores. Substitute with regular breadcrumbs if you can’t find it.
Parmesan – Grate your own (better flavour) or use store bought pre-grated (the sandy type).
Olive oil – For pan frying until golden.
How to make Green Beans with a Mountain of Panko
The recipe in my working files is articulately written up as:
Beans – Boil, drain, cool, toss.
Tahini sauce – Whisk, microwave 20 sec, whisk again.
Panko – Mix, pan fry.
I did promise you easy! 🙂 Here are step photos (and a few more words on each of those steps!).
Preparing & cooking green beans
Obviously pros should blow right past this section (or read it and share your opinions in the comments section below!).
Trimming – Only the stem end of the beans needs to be trimmed but to do this, you need all the beans lined up in the same direction which is (speaking frankly) a pain to do. I only do that for company (and recipe photos 😂). In reality, I just grab handfuls, line one end up, cut, line up the other end, cut.
Boiling – Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the beans, let it come back up to the boil (this might take 1 to 2 minutes) then cook for 2 minutes.
NO ICE! Drain the beans in a colander then run the beans under the tap for 10 seconds to stop them cooking further. There is no need to waste your precious cocktail ice on this step. Tap water is all you need!
Dry – Spread the beans out on a tea towel and pat dry. Or, if you have the time, just leave them to air dry. We need to dry them else the oil won’t stick and they will taste watery.
Season – Put the beans in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Temperature – The beans can be used warm or at room temperature in this recipe, but not piping hot (else it makes the sauce melt).
Golden panko – Mix the panko, parmesan and olive oil in a bowl. Then toast in a non-stick pan for 4 to 5 minutes until golden. Let it cool before using.
Whipped tahini yogurt sauce – Whisk the ingredients in a heatproof bowl just to combine. Microwave for 20 seconds on high, then whisk again. Watch as it transforms into almost like a softly whipped cream consistency! This can be used immediately, or set aside for a while (just microwave/whisk again if needed to loosen).
No microwave? Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with 1″/2.5 cm of simmering water. Then whisk – as the mixture warms up slightly, it will transform into the whipped cream texture.
Assembling – Pile the green beans on a large plate. Pour the Whipped Tahini Yogurt Sauce over then pile the panko on top. Then serve!
Proof of tastiness – Look how happy I am!
As mentioned from the outset, this dish came about because I was after a new green bean side dish that could be prepared ahead but with an element of “wow” factor. It’s coming up to holiday season, we can do better than plain steamed beans!! 😂
So the beauty of this recipe is that it can be entirely prepared ahead then assembled in a matter of minutes. It’s a dish that is intended to be served at room temperature, so there’s no reheating to be done.
Here’s how to make ahead:
Beans – Cook today, refrigerate overnight. Take out of the fridge and bring to room temperature, then toss in oil, salt and pepper just prior to serving (once tossed the oil starts to dull the vibrant green colour of the skin).
Whipped tahini sauce – Mix together, don’t microwave. Refrigerate overnight. Then do the microwave and finally whisk prior to serving. This sauce will lose the soft whipped texture the longer it sits out.
Parmesan panko topping – Make this the day before, let it fully cool then store in a container in the fridge overnight. Bring to room temperature before using.
Assembling – Then this part is really nice and quick. No fiddling, just spread the beans on a plate, smother with sauce and pile on the panko. Done!
Serve as a vegetable side dish. Though as I mentioned earlier, make it once, and you’ll see the snacking potential as everyone grabs the beans and munches on them like french fries! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Green Beans with a Mountain of Panko
- 700 g/1.4lb green beans , ends trimmed (Note 1)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cooking/kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Whipped Tahini Yogurt:
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 1/2 tbsp tahini (Note 2)
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (sub 1 tbsp clear vinegar)
- 1 garlic clove , finely grated
- 1/2 tsp cooking/kosher salt
Parmesan Panko Mountain:
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (Note 3)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 tsp cooking/kosher salt
- 1/4 cup parmesan , finely grated (tightly packed cup)
- Toss blanched beans with oil, salt and pepper. Whisk Tahini ingredients, microwave 20 seconds, whisk again. Toast Panko mix on stove. Assemble – beans, sauce then panko. Attack!
- Cook beans – Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add beans, let it come back to the boil, cook for 2 minutes, then drain in a colander. Rinse under cold running water for 10 seconds to stop cooking (there is NO NEED to use ice!).
- Season – Spread beans on a tea towel then dry with a 2nd tea towel. Transfer into bowl, toss with the oil, salt and pepper.
- Panko Mountain – Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Preheat a large non-stick pan on medium high. Add the panko mixture and stir for 4 – 5 minutes until golden brown. Transfer back into the bowl then let it cool.
- Whipped Tahini Yogurt – Whisk ingredients in a heat-proof bowl just to combine. Microwave for just 20 seconds on high, then whisk again for 10 seconds – it will resemble softly whipped cream. (Note 4) Use immediately or at room temperature.
- Assemble – Spread green beans on plate. Pour over sauce, pile on panko. Attack!
More green bean recipes
Had no idea I had so many green bean recipes!!
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