Browsing Tag

mushroom sauce

Christmas, Local, Thanksgiving, Vegetables

Casserole conflict? The green bean solution.

November 21, 2014

How to serve green beans is one of the more hotly debated holiday meal topics, with some cooks sticking with the classic gooey casserole formula and others going minimalist. It’s not unusual for families to be divided along these lines (mine sure has been) with die-hards staying loyal to that homespun pan of creamy indulgence and the texture-conscious going for beans sautéed quickly and perhaps set off by lemons or almonds. Well, here’s a way to make both extremes happy. Cook your green beans simply, but serve them with a topping bar that will allow guests to get as straightforward or saucy as they like. Green beans, God bless ‘em, pair well with a wide range of flavors and textures. A day or two before the holiday, trim and blanch the green beans, then reserve them in a food storage bag until you’re ready to cook. Saute at the last minute in olive oil, butter and minced garlic. Then let your guests have their way with toppings like these:

  • Roasted cashews with fresh rosemary
  • Creamy mushroom sauce with splash of sherry
  • Sauteed pine nuts with lemon peel
  • Toasted almonds
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Curls of fresh parmesan
  • Mornay sauce (Bechamel sauce with added grated cheese, usually Swiss)
  • Caramelized onions or shallots
  • Diced avocado, fresh tomato and lime (you can still find Louisiana tomatoes at the farmers market into November)
  • Local Meyer lemon wedges
  • Peanut or satay sauce (Amazing with green beans! Really.)
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Homemade chow chow
  • Chutney
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds
  • And yes, even canned French fried onions