Ah, the beloved Thanksgiving table!
It can look like a never-ending line of saucy-ness, richness, sweetness and savory-ness, which frankly, is perfectly fine with me.
That’s exactly as it should be!
The more buttery biscuits, pillowy rolls, flowing gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, turkey, stuffing (or dressing) and sweet cranberry sauce, the better; but for this Thanksgiving, I’m offering up at least one clean, green, simple and crisp take on a favorite, just to balance things a smidge!
Green bean casserole is one of our favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal—we absolutely love it; and I even came up with a completely-from-scratch-version a couple of years ago, if your heart is still set on a creamy and saucy version that is ridiculously delicious.
But this year, I’ve got a lightened-up recipe for those beloved green beans that is more vibrant and show’s off their crisper side, all without losing any of that perfectly savory flavor that we all love.
And that sounds like the type of mouthwatering compromise that I can certainly live with!
Green beans and earthy mushrooms are truly a match made in heaven; so to keep that partnership alive and well, I’ve sauteed savory shiitakes with lots of fragrant garlic and herbs, then added the green beans to the party to soak up some of the flavor and topped everything off with some shaved parmesan and toasted hazelnuts for a nutty crunch.
It’s a side dish with hints of all of the delectable flavors we’re familiar with in the classic casserole, only simplified and lightened up to show off the vibrant green of the veggies, and the amazing texture of the mushrooms and crunchy, toasted nuts.
So if you’re looking to add a little splash of green color and crispness to the soft richness found on the traditional Thanksgiving table, this is the perfect little veggie side to brighten things up.
And just think, you can always smother ’em in gravy!
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Buttery French Green Beans with Garlic-Sauteed Mushrooms, Shaved Parmesan and Toasted Hazelnuts
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 4
• 12 ounces haricots verts (the thin, long green beans)
• Olive or canola oil
• 7 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
• Black pepper
• 3 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• ¼ cup shaved parmesan
• ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
-To blanch your green beans, brings a medium-size pot of well-salted water to the boil; add in the green beans, and simmer them for about 6 minutes, or until tender but still crisp; drain, then shock the beans in ice water to stop them cooking, and to keep them a vibrant green; pat the beans with paper towel to dry them well.
-Place a large skillet over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 3 tablespoons of the oil; once the oil is hot, add in the sliced mushrooms, plus a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, and saute them for a few minutes until a deep golden-brown.
-Next, add in the garlic, and stir together until the garlic becomes aromatic, about 15-30 seconds; sprinkle in the Italian seasoning and stir to combine, then spoon the mushrooms onto a plate to hold for a moment.
-Add the butter into the skillet, and once melted, add in the green beans, and toss to coat them in the butter; add back the mushrooms, and toss everything to coat well (check to see if you need more salt and pepper).
-To finish, add the green beans and the mushrooms to a large plate or platter, and sprinkle with the shaved parmesan and the toasted hazelnuts.