Prep 45 mins
Cook 15 mins
Don't add too much hot sauce as this is not supposed to be a spicy dish, it's just there for a little punch. This dish makes for great leftovers so don't worry if there is some left. This is such a great dish that you should use all fresh ingredients and make your own French fried onions. You can make it with any type of cheese but adjust the salt level if not using Parmesan. This is a great make ahead dish - make the casserole and refrigerate, when ready to bake make the topping, add it and heat the casserole.
- 3 lbs fresh green beans, picked over with the end tips cut off and cut into pieces about 1 1/2 inches long
- 1 cup sun-dried tomato, chopped fine (optional)
- 1 1⁄2 cups French's French fried onions (or French Fried Onions is a good one)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup shallots or 1 cup onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3-4 cloves)
- 1⁄4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 1⁄2 cups whole milk
- 2 bay leaves
- 3⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 3 -5 drops hot sauce
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated (about 1 cup)
- 4 cups fresh mushrooms, chopped (any kind or a combination, use canned if fresh is not available)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1 cup French-fried onions
- 3 pieces toast, preferably whole grain and well toasted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Steam green beans until they are still just slightly crisp and set aside.
- Grease a 13x9 inch casserole or other similar size dish with butter and set aside.
- Make the béchamel: Melt 5 tablespoons butter until foaming in medium saucepan over medium heat; add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 1/2 minutes. Do not brown. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat, whisk in bay leaves, nutmeg, salt, hot sauce and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Discard bay leaf and whisk in 1 cup Parmesan. Add mushrooms and mix well.
- In a mixing bowl combine béchamel mixture, green beans, tomatoes if using and 1 1/2 cups of the French fried onions. Mix well to combine. Spread mixture into prepared baking dish.
- Place the 6 Tbs. butter, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 3/4 cup French fried onions and toasted bread in a food processor and pulse until well combined and crumbly. Spread over the top of the green beans. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the casserole is bubbling.
I made this for our Easter dinner. I wanted a creamy fresh green bean dish (didn't grow up on the usual kind). I made most of this the night before and added the topping the next day. I enjoyed the white sauce so much (it is so thick and rich but doesn't have cream) and the topping MAKES this. I didn't end up using all the butter in the topping (about half) and didn't miss it. I did cook my mushrooms in microwave before adding because I was afraid they'd make the sauce watery if I didn't. Thanks MarielC, for posting a great new standard for green bean casserole. Roxygirl