Green Beans and Bacon on Nutty Lemon Quinoa

When I came across a recipe of green beans with  bacon and hazelnuts some time ago, it was declared a side dish. Some grains and seeds would serve just right to make it a complete and filling meal. I chose quinoa, but it would work as well with bulgur or brown rice. I love the smoky flavor of the bacon together with the beans and the slightly lemon-scented grains just round up the taste of the whole dish with some freshness.

1 teaspoon olive oil 
1 large shallot, chopped
1 pound green beans, trimmed 
1/2 cup water 
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled 
2 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts
1/4 teaspoon salt 

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
Salt to taste 

2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/3 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds

Serves 2-3 
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until starting to brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add green beans and cook, stirring often, until seared in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Add water; cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes for tender-crisp or 6 minutes for tender. Remove from heat and stir in bacon, hazelnuts and salt.

Place quinoa with water and salt into a bowl and cook covered and over medium low heat until all liquid has been absorbed. Transfer to serving bowl. Mix oil and lemon juice in a bowl and pour over the cooked quinoa. Stir in the seeds. Add the green bean mixture and toss. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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