Cumin-roasted string beans and tomatoes with tahini and cilantro


  • Makes6 servings
Cumin-roasted string beans and tomatoes with tahini and cilantro

Photo: Laura Edwards

Roasted string beans stay crisp, wrinkle ever so slightly, and have a more intense flavour than beans cooked in (or over) water.


  • 2 oz cherry tomatoes, mixed colours, if possible

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • flaky sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 oz green beans, stem ends removed

  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

  • 2 tsp sesame seeds

  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro leaves


  • 1/4 cup tahini

  • juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 5 tbsp water, plus more if needed

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated

  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 tsp clear honey


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  • Put the tomatoes into a roasting pan or on a baking sheet that has a lip all the way around. There needs to be room to add the beans later. Toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season them well. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.

  • Toss the string beans in a bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the cumin seeds. Scatter the beans on top and around the tomatoes. Return to the oven for a final 10 minutes. At the end of the roasting time, the tomatoes should be completely soft and the beans slightly charred.

  • To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season well. The tahini will “seize” and thicken when you add the lemon juice, but don’t worry, it will break down again when you add the water and beat hard with a wooden spoon. Tahini varies in thickness, so you might need more water than I’ve suggested here to achieve a dressing as thick as cream.

  • Spoon the dressing onto a plate, place the vegetables on top, and scatter with the sesame seeds and cilantro. You can serve this at room temperature, though I prefer it slightly warm.

Recipe by Diana Henry and excerpted from From the Oven to the Table, published by Mitchell Beazley. 2019. Photo by Laura Edwards.

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