In the past, I would have avoided a recipe like the green bean almondine I made last night for a few reasons: time, ingredients, and unfamiliarity. Roasting 3 garlic heads for an hour?! Incorporating 2 ounces of blue cheese?! Green beans not just served steamed and lightly seasoned with butter, salt and pepper?! Unless it’s a holiday, I never understood why anyone would spend so much time cooking and, unless I was eating out, I can’t remember a time when I actually ate a dish with blue cheese. Well, I get it now!
The way I feel about the aroma of roasted garlic is much like my affinity for the smell of sauteed onions before anything else is added. It’s inviting, enticing, satisfying. And, that’s exactly how I felt about the completed recipe. Too much flavor? Too much cheese? Too much garlic? Carlos (the hubby) and I discussed this as we ate. And then, poof! Suddenly we realized our plates were clean.
According to some reviewers of the dish, 2 oz of blue cheese was overwhelming. I would say, yes…and no. This is not a dish I would make all the time because it is very rich and, in general, I would say any kind of cheese makes a meal feel heavier. BUT it was delicious! The green beans were cooked perfectly, the almonds added extra crunch, there was literally an explosion of flavor in my mouth that only several attempts at brushing my teeth and one of night of sleep could erase. I’ve heard garlic is good for you, so at least I knew I was protected from vampires for one evening!
Let’s note that cooking, unlike baking, is not an exact science. So you don’t like so much cheese, use less! Easy peasy.
What’s the lesson I learned from this experience? Trust the recipe, read the recipe, follow the recipe exactly as it is written. I couldn’t imagine what green beans, garlic and blue cheese would taste like together, I had never bought blue cheese before and I had never roasted my own garlic, but I had faith and it paid off!