As green beans found their way
into our CSA box this summer ..
we did a lot of experimenting .. and this was by far our favorite. The recipe we kept coming back to over and over again. In an odd way it felt a little like Thanksgiving .. even though it was hot and sunny outside.
This is one of my favorite ways to cook green beans .. a few ingredients .. one skillet .. finished off with a few minutes in the oven. The sauce needn't come from a can .. making it from scratch with whole foods is far more delicious and just as easy. The mushrooms lend a hearty depth of flavor that's almost unimaginable in a meatless dish.
It probably goes unsaid that onions .. cut thin .. and tossed with a flour/salt/pepper/breadcrumb mix before being baked until they're crunchy .. are astoundingly good when homemade. So good it would be unfortunate to only make them for green bean casseroles .. they're also great added to sandwiches and wraps .. or sprinkled over roasted veggies.
A few other thoughts ..
I originally made a 1/2-recipe in an 8″ cast-iron skillet .. there were 2 of us & we wished we'd made more.
This dish is best made to order .. just before serving. Green beans that have been sitting around for long periods of time .. tend to lose their vibrancy .. and the texture and taste seem to change as well. Do your best to seek out good ones .. they should be bright green and have a bit of snap when you bend them.
If you love Alton Brown how-tos as much as I do .. I couldn't resist adding a link.
He always makes me smile.
~ Adapted from Alton Brown .. here
Best Ever Green Bean Casserole
- Crispy Onions
- 2 medium onions thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour ** or oat flour if you're gluten-free
- 2 Tbsp panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Mushroom Sauce
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil ** can also use ghee
- 12 ounces mushrooms trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg freshly ground is best
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 1/2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour ** or oat flour if you're gluten-free
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup Magic Mineral Broth ** vegetable or chicken broth would be great as well
- 1 cup greek yogurt ** I use Fage 2%
- 1 - 11/2 lbs fresh green beans rinsed, trimmed and halved
- Crispy Onions
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Toss onion with flour, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and evenly spread the onions.
- Bake until golden brown (~ about 30 minutes), tossing the onions a couple of times as they bake. Set aside to cool.
- Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare the Beans
- While the onions are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the green beans for 5 minutes
- Drain the beans, and immediately plunge them into ice water to full stop them from cooking.
- Drain again, and set aside. (If you're trying for one pot utopia, you can boil them in the 12-inch cast iron skillet that you'll use for the other steps. But a saucepan can be easier.)
- Make the Mushroom Sauce
- Over medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil in the bottom of a 12-inch cast iron skillet.
- Add the mushrooms along with the salt and pepper.
- Sauté them until they start to release their liquid (~ 3 to 5 minutes) depending on how they were chopped.
- Add the garlic & nutmeg, and continue to sauté a couple minutes more.
- Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir it until it coats the mushrooms.
- Add the broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring the whole time. Simmer the mix for a minute or two more
- Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the greek yogurt.
- Return to a simmer and cook until the mixture thickens a bit, stirring frequently (~ 6-8 minutes)
- Assemble and Bake
- Add the greens beans to the sauce and stir until they are coated.
- Sprinkle the crispy onions over the top.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and onions are a shade darker.