Not Your Mamma’s Green Bean Casserole

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
Photo by Jonathan Boncek

Food Culture of the South

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Serves 6 to 8

    For the white cheddar mornay sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 1¾ cups milk

  • ¼ cup white wine

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Pinch of nutmeg

  • ½ cup shredded white cheddar
  • For the casserole:
  • 2 pounds green beans, stemmed
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pound oyster mushrooms, stemmed (shiitake or cremini also work well here)

  • Pepper to taste

  • 1½ cups white cheddar mornay sauce
  1. Make the mornay sauce: In a small saucepot over medium heat, melt butter and add shallots, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Cook for 2 minutes, then discard bay leaf and thyme. Add flour and stir constantly for 3 minutes. Add milk, increase heat to medium-high, and stir frequently until milk starts to thicken. Stir in wine, reduce heat to low, and stir for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat, stir in cheddar cheese, and keep warm on stovetop until ready to use.
  2. Make the casserole: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large bowl, prepare an ice bath. Add green beans to boiling water, cook for about 2 minutes, then transfer to ice bath. Drain green beans and cut into thirds. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over high heat, add
1 tablespoon of the butter. Add onions, season with salt, and let cook until
lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir frequently until onions are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Set onions aside. Return skillet to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil. Add mushrooms, sauté for about 2 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Once mushrooms are cooked through, stir in caramelized onions until heated through. Set mixture aside.
  4. Add remaining tablespoon of butter to skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté green beans and season with salt and pepper. Ladle mornay sauce onto a medium-sized serving platter, then top with green beans and onion-mushroom mixture.

From Move Over, Turkey.

  • Recipe by John Ondo

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