Roasted Vegetables with Warm Lemon Dressing
The giant beans Greeks call gigantes are ideal for this dish, but dried limas of any size, or even cannellini beans, are delicious too. This low-fat dressing uses fat-free broth and a minimum of olive oil, and is thickened with cornstarch. For the best result, pour the warm dressing over the vegetables and beans while they are still warm.
- 2 cups dried giant lima beans or cannellini beans, or 2 cans (each 15 oz.) cannellini beans
- 1 zucchini, halved and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch wedges
- 1 green bell pepper, cut lengthwise into quarters, stem, seeds and ribs removed
- 1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into quarters, stem, seeds and ribs removed
- 1/4 lb. green beans, trimmed
- 4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 6 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 small garlic clove, minced (optional)
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
If using dried beans, pick over the beans, discarding any misshapen beans or grit. Rinse the beans, put in a bowl and add water to cover by about 3 inches. Let soak for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Drain the beans. Place the beans in a saucepan and add water to cover generously. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer gently until tender, 1 to 1 /2 hours. Drain well and set aside. If using canned beans, drain well, rinse under cold running water, drain well again and set aside.
Position racks in the upper third and lower third of an oven and preheat to 450°F.
Brush the zucchini, fennel, bell peppers, green beans and tomatoes evenly with 3 tsp. of the olive oil. Brush 2 nonstick baking sheets with 2 tsp. of the oil, or line the sheets with aluminum foil and brush with the oil. Keeping each type of vegetable together, place the zucchini, fennel, green beans, tomatoes and bell peppers, the last two skin side down, on the baking sheets. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. of the salt and season generously with pepper.
Roast the vegetables until they are tender when pierced with a knife but still hold their shape, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the vegetables to a platter. Using tongs, lift the skins off the tomatoes and discard.
In a small saucepan, whisk together the broth, lemon juice and cornstarch until blended. Whisk in the oregano, garlic, remaining 1 tsp. oil, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and a grind or two of pepper. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When the dressing has thickened and turned clear, after about 3 minutes, remove from the heat.
Arrange one-fourth of the lima beans on each individual plate, forming a bed. Top each bed of beans with one-fourth of each of the roasted vegetables. Pour one-fourth of the warm dressing over each serving and top with one-fourth of the crumbled feta. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).