Green Beans With Almond Gremolata

Green bean casserole was a dish my mom, and millions of others, make for Thanksgiving. It’s a reliable, love-hate dish, that many of us have had at least once in our lives, if not more. Many, including my mother, still make this dish, but many, like myself, have adapted or modernized it over the years. This is my updated version of that old-time favorite; green beans with almond gremolata and trust me, it’s a keeper.

green beans with almond gremolata

The Green Bean Casserole Invention

The inventor of the green bean casserole, Dorcas Reilly died on Oct. 15, 2018 at the age of 92. Campbell’s Soup estimates her famous dish is served in roughly 20 million homes every Thanksgiving. The real secret weapon of the casseroles is its familiarity and no one forgets that.

In 1955, Dorcas Reilly was working in the home economics department of the Campbell Soup Company. Her job was to come up with creative ways to use Campbell’s products – tuna noodle casserole, sloppy Joe super burgers, and the like.

The dish, first known as a green bean bake, combined two kitchen staples at the time, green beans and cream of mushroom soup. Reilly tested numerous combinations and quickly the beloved green bean casserole was born. Truthfully, Reilly had no idea the dish would become such an iconic holiday classic.

In 2002, Campbell donated Dorcas Reilly’s original recipe card to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. And Reilly kept cooking. She said in 2013 that she was still experimenting in her kitchen. Her motto at work and home, she said, was “Food should be fun and food should be happy“.

While I have consumed my share of green bean casserole over the years, there is nothing wrong with change. My green beans with almond gremolata is a healthier, lightened-up version that still plays on the casserole essentials; salt, fat, and crunch.  In my recipe, I use lightly balanced fresh French green beans which are crisp and flavorful.

The simple but flavorful almond gremolata adds the fat and flavor. Although diverting from tradition on any holiday. let alone Thanksgiving, can be disconcerting, I’m here to tell you it’s also ok, no judgments. And the truth is, you can always go back if you want to.

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

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