Thursday, December 22, 2011

Deconstructed Green Bean Casserole (Vegetarian)

Green bean casserole is a TIMELESS holiday side dish. Created in 1955 by Campbell's Soups, all you really need is a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, some green beans, and the classic french-fried onions. Classic or not, I HATE the texture of green bean casserole. I love the flavors, but find the whole mess really unappetizing, both texturally (is that a word?) and visually. In fact, we haven't had this dish on our Thanksgiving or Christmas table in YEARS. 

Until now.

This recipe takes the traditional casserole and classes it up quite a bit. The canned soup is replaced by caramelized onions, thickened with a roux and made creamy by the addition of luxurious Gruyere cheese. Fresh green beans are blanched instead of being cooked until mushy, but, in keeping with tradition, the canned french-fried onion crispies stay. It's the perfect combination of tradition and class, yet still just as easy to whip together as the original recipe. 

Deconstructed Green Bean Casserole
adapted from Closet Cooking

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 small sweet onion, diced
8oz sliced mushrooms
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese (substitute Jarlsberg or Emmantaler)
Salt & pepper
1 lb green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup canned french-fried onions

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the onions until tender, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and saute 10-15 minutes or until they begin to caramelize. Add the garlic and thyme; saute about 1 minute or until fragrant.

Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook for 2 minutes, forming a roux. Deglaze with the white wine, then add the chicken stock and cream. Simmer 2-3 minutes or until thickened.

Add the cheese, let melt, then season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, blanch the green beans until just tender, and serve topped with mushroom cream sauce and french-fried onions.

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to try this recipe this Thanksgiving to replace the old-fashioned "green bean casserole" that we all love to hate. I'm so glad I did-the sauce with the wine and cheese was such a hit-everyone said, "wow-this is a deconstructed green bean casserole-without the canned soup!" Thanks for the recipe!