For last year's holiday dinner, we decided to try our hand at green bean casserole, one of the more traditional side dishes found at holiday tables across the country. However, we couldn't just do the usual Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup with French's fried onions. For one thing, cream of mushroom is not vegan, and since we have a vegan and many lactose-intolerants on our guest list, that recipe just would not do. Also, we wanted a little bit of a dressier version of it for our schmancy party ;-)
We ended up following Tyler Florence's Green Bean Casserole, using vegan subs for both the Parmesan and the heavy cream. It ended up being a delicious and beautiful dish! In the future, we may try topping it with friend onions rather than the croutons. It worked as is, but the onions might put it over the edge!
Wild Mushroom & Green Bean Casserole with Herbed Croutons
3 pounds green beans
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 loaf crusty Italian bread
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds mixed mushrooms (such as button, cremini, shiitake), sliced
2 shallots, sliced
1 cup heavy cream
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add a big pinch of salt and the green beans. Cook for about 5 minutes, the beans should still be crisp, they will be cooked more in the oven. Drain them and set aside. Butter a baking dish large enough to hold the green beans with 1 tablespoon butter and set aside.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Tear the bread into 2-inch pieces, put them into a bowl, and add 1 tablespoon chives, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir well to coat and spread onto a baking sheet. Bake just until the bread just starts to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid, about 10 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream, add the remaining thyme and chives, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the green beans and stir well. Put the green bean mixture into the prepared baking dish, top with the croutons, and sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan. Bake until everything is hot and bubbling, about 20 to 25 minutes.