Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Romano Beans With Hazelnuts, Lemon, Garlic and Fresh Herbs

Romano Beans with Hazelnuts, Lemon, Garlic and Fresh Herbs, from the Country Fresh Herbs at the Sunday and Wednesday Larchmont Farmers Markets (photos Deborah Brooks)


There’s never a dull moment at the Larchmont Farmers Market. Perhaps you heard my loud squeal of delight on Wednesday when I saw an overflowing box of Romano beans at the Country Fresh Herbs table. I hadn’t seen that vegetable since childhood and then it was bags of frozen beans that my mom would boil with some salt and then serve. No matter that they weren’t all dressed up, I loved the taste and texture.

Truthfully, at first I didn’t recognize them and had to ask… and then I squealed. The Romano beans I ate back in the day were pre-sliced very short. I had no idea that they were actually in the long bean family. Italian long beans, to be precise. As you can see in the photo, some of these beans topped out at almost a foot long. I bagged up two pounds along with a variety of fresh herbs.

While most recipes call for adding tomatoes, I decided that I wanted to allow the flavor of the bean be the star. The lemon, herbs, hazelnuts and garlic are background players to the bright green pop of the beans, which is very much like an intensely flavored string bean.

  • Please note that blanching the beans first helps them keep their bright green color when sautéing. Recipe for blanching is below.
  • Romano beans are very seasonal and not often available. You can replace them in this recipe with traditional green beans or even sugar snap peas if necessary.
  • You can use any nuts you like. Just make sure they’re roasted. I bought roasted hazelnuts at Trader Joes. For nut allergies use roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Feel free to use whatever fresh herbs you love or need to use up. I went with Italian herbs, as these are Italian long beans.


Romano Beans With Hazelnuts, Lemon, Garlic and Fresh Herbs

2 pounds blanched Romano beans (recipe for blanching follows), dried and allowed to come back to room temperature
3 T really good extra virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic
1 T fresh chopped basil
1 T fresh chopped Italian parsley
1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
½ tsp fresh chopped thyme
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 T fresh lemon juice


A few cracks of finishing salt, such as Himalayan pink salt
1-2 T fresh chopped basil
Zest of 2 lemons
1/3 cup crushed roasted hazelnuts

Slice the cloves of garlic thin and then cut in half. The larger pieces of garlic will less likely burn than minced garlic in the oil and add a nice texture to the dish. Prep all of your herbs and have them ready to add to the pan. Heat the EVOO in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring up for about a minute being careful not to scorch the garlic. Turn down the heat if necessary. Add the herbs and sauté another 20 seconds or so. Add the Romano beans and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat the beans with the oil, herbs and garlic. Turn up the heat and stir fry until heated through. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and stir up. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Add the toppings in order listed for a pretty presentation. I like to toss up the vegetables and toppings for serving, at the table. Serve extra toppings on the side if desired for your guests.


Blanching Romano Beans:

Blanching is a method of quick cooking and then quick cooling that seals in color, flavor and texture of vegetables and sometimes fruits.

To blanch these Romano beans:

  • Bring a big pot of water to a boil.
  • Add salt and the beans and cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, fill a very large bowl with ice water.
  • Immediately transfer all of the beans to the ice water using a slotted spoon or a pair of tongs.
  • When the beans are completely cooled, drain in a colander
  • Let them dry out completely, spread out on cloth towels, before cooking again in oil. This prevents spattering, and steaming vs. sautéing the vegetables.


Romano beans are very seasonal and not often available.  Perhaps you heard a loud squeal of delight on Wednesday when Deborah saw an overflowing box of Romano beans at the Country Fresh Herbs table.


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Deborah Brooks
Deborah Brooks
Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.

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