This is perhaps the funniest invention in gastronomic history – Napoleon initiated canning foods to help survive through winter and subsequently war-torn times. The Americans came in and created a concoction that became a staple in every American dining table – a can of cooked green beans, a can of mushroom soup and a can of fried onions on top which essentially became a filler dish that was quick, easy and perhaps somewhat nutritious.

Now, for me, this whole idea of a mushed up baked dish makes me quite queasy. I do love the green bean, and the idea of a crunchy topping as well (anything fried is good), and so this is the Kitchen Therapy version.

I first roast the green beans with lots of garlic and olive oil – which is fairly simple and straightforward. I believe good produce must be prodded as little as possible. The topping, however is a medley. It’s a crunchy savoury streusel in the form of breadcrumbs, lemon zest and a delightful blend of spices and sesame seeds. This is the perfect side dish to any meal and if you lay it out in a fancy way like the picture, it is sure enough to pique some interest!

The Recipe
Serves 2


  • 1 cup Green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Lemon Zest
  • 1tsp Piri Piri Powder
  • 1tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Salt


  • Flash boil the beans in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove, wipe dry and toss in olive oil, salt and garlic.
  • Place in a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes at 200C.
  • Place a medium pan on high heat.
  • Add the sesame seeds, breadcrumbs and spices into the pan and toast, swirling with a wooden spoon.
  • Ensure the mixture does not burn.
  • Remove from pan once well toasted and fragrant and stir in the fresh lemon zest.
  • Once the beans are done, remove from oven and toss with the mixture.
  • Serve immediately.

Up Next

The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.