10 green bean recipes for summer, including the ultimate green bean casserole: Foodday Favorites

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Summertime is prime time for green beans.

(Oregonian file photo)

Eugene chef Stephanie Kimmel reinvented the classic green bean casserole using fresh beans and mushrooms.

Summertime is prime time for green beans, and a lot of home cooks simmers them on the stove with slices of bacon to create flavorful side dishes. But cooking them that way can lead to overcooked beans. Instead, try using green beans with one of these 10 recipes, which were popular with tasters in the Foodday Test Kitchen in recent years.

Ultimate Green Bean Casserole: You know that green bean casserole that uses canned mushroom soup and canned green beans? We got Eugene chef Stephanie Kimmel to reinvent the well-worn dish, using fresh green beans and chanterelle mushrooms. Her version is baked in a homemade white sauce, and tastes cleaner, more natural than the 1950s tinned three-can combo. For toppers, the golden shallot and bread crumb out-crunches canned french-fried onions any day.

Green Bean Salad With Creamy Tofu Dressing: The vegan Japanese dish gets its creaminess from silken tofu, which is seasoned with soy sauce and sake.

Green Beans With Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic and Lemon Zest: You start by cooking the beans in some liquid to get them tender, and then finish with a few minutes of sauteing in oil or butter to sweeten them up and cook the tomatoes. Choose sweet, juicy cherry or grape tomatoes; the juices will cook down to a lovely glaze.

Green Beans With Mushrooms: You can use any type of fresh mushrooms for this dish, but since the recipe calls for only 1/2 cup, consider springing for porcini or chanterelles, which cost more than basic grocery store mushrooms but deliver more flavor.

Green Beans With Sun-dried Tomatoes, Feta and Mozzarella: This warm side dish is remarkable for its simplicity. Make sure the beans are not overcooked and use a good-quality fresh mozzarella.

Pan-Seared Green Beans With Spicy Remoulade: We were hooked at first bite on these smoky, peppery tender-crisp beans, mottled black from their dance in a red-hot skillet. They’re also quick to make and as close to guilt-free as you can get, especially if you use reduced-fat mayonnaise in the spicy remoulade. Leftovers don’t keep well, so give yourself a license to gobble them up in one sitting.

French Salade Nicoise is a perfect summertime entree.

: This French salad is a perfect summertime entree, and uses green beans as part of a palette of ingredients. The dish is a visual stunner.

: This Middle Eastern side dish can be made up to 2 days ahead, cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

: Pickling green beans is one way to preserve the season. This recipe comes from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse.

: Use these pickled green beans on the traditional antipasto tray, or with a platter of cold meats or sandwiches. If you dabble in the art of pickling very long, you’ll discover a bevy of creative uses.

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