Sear, Simmer & Stir

Life, style & food in the District

Giving Thanks – And Green Bean Casserole

The makings of green bean casserole. (Rachel Nania)

I am thankful for so many things this year.  From new jobs, to new friends, new family members and even new tattoos, my gratitude is off the charts. And (thankfully), I get to celebrate all of my “thanks” over a table of food with my crazy family tomorrow afternoon.

At every holiday (well, at every meal), my family is all about the food. And while the turkey does take front-and-center at Thanksgiving dinner, more planning, effort and love goes into the millions of side dishes.

Rutabaga and shallot make this dish different and earthy. (Rachel Nania)

Blanching the green beans. (Rachel Nania)

I am known to have a favorite among the side dishes (so much so that my aunt has to make two; one for Rachel and one for the rest of the family), and that favorite is green bean casserole.

This year, I couldn’t wait until Thanksgiving dinner to get a bite of the warm, comforting casserole, so I whipped up a batch to satisfy my pre-Thanksgiving craving.

Mushrooms, shallots and butter. (Rachel Nania)

Rutabaga (Rachel Nania)

The cream sauce for the casserole. (Rachel Nania)

This fresh recipe uses haricot verts, shallots, baby portobella mushrooms, rutabaga and a fresh cream sauce with a touch of cheese. Instead of fried onions, panko breadcrumbs add a light crunch on top.

Now excuse me while I go grab a plate of the green bean casserole before hitting the road for home. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

The final product. (Rachel Nania)


  • 12 oz haricot verts
  • 1 shallot, roughly diced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • ¾ cup skim milk, plus ½ cup
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1 cup of shaved rutabaga
  • 10 oz sliced baby portobella mushrooms
  • ½ cup of vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 handful of shredded cheese
  • ½ cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch the haricot verts – Submerge them in the boiling water for about a minute before removing them with a slotted spoon and transferring them to an ice water bath.  Set the blanched beans aside.
  2. In a large pan, heat a little bit of olive oil and sauté the shaved rutabaga over medium high heat until the shavings begin to brown. Remove the rutabaga from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat and sauté the mushrooms and shallots for 5-7 minutes, until soft and wilted. Add salt and pepper. Add the vegetable stock and the rutabaga to the pan and continue to cook until the stock evaporates.
  4. In a separate saucepan, begin your roux for the cream sauce. Melt 2 tbsp of butter and whisk in 2 tbsp of flour. Whisk in the half and half and ¾ cup of the milk, and continue whisking (about 5 minutes) until the sauce thickens. Add in salt and pepper to taste and the melted cheese. Pour the thickened sauce over the pan of veggies and stir together. Continue stirring and add in ½ of milk to loosen the thick cream and veggie sauce (you want it to be easy to pour over the beans).
  5. Pour the green beans into a buttered casserole dish. Pour the sauce over the beans, covering them. Add the panko to the top and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling and the panko is golden brown.

2 comments on “Giving Thanks – And Green Bean Casserole

  1. fifthfloorkitchen
    November 30, 2012

    Just came across your blog via Borderstan! This looks great- will have to try this out!

    • Rachel Nania
      December 14, 2012

      Thanks so much!! So nice to hear that!

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This entry was posted on November 21, 2012 by in Sides, Vegetarian.

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