Food + Drink

A Recipe from Brown Sugar Kitchen

Side dishes often feel…uninspired. I usually spend so much time on the main course that the rest comes together without any fanfare or flavor. But these roasted green beans with sesame seed dressing have cured me of my lackluster-side-dish disease. They are from Tanya Holland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen, the Oakland gem that serves the best Southern brunch this Virginia transplant has had in a long, long time. Here’s the recipe from the book, which is full of Southern specialties with a twist that only an inspiring chef like Holland can get away with!



Serves 6

I can get a little bored with green beans. I really enjoy them mixed with other vegetables in salads, but alone I think they need some finesse. Sesame seeds made their way into the Southern kitchen with the slaves who were brought here from Africa. Often called benne seeds in the South, they were one of the many exotic ingredients brought to this country that we now take for granted. Photographer Jody Horton and his team thought these made excellent finger food.


  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ cup | 120 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb/455 g green beans, trimmed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F/230°C and set a rack to the top posi­tion. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, oil, vinegar, tahini, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes. Add the green beans and toss until evenly coated. Season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Spread the beans in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.


Sabrina Barekzai
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