Green bean casserole was a dish my mom, and millions 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.
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 casserole’s 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’s 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 own kitchen. Her motto at work and at 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 hear to tell you it’s also ok, no judgments. And the truth is, you can always go back if you want to.
Green Beans With Almond Gremolata
- 1/2 cup unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2-2 pounds French green beans
- 2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2-3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup fresh curly parsley, finely chopped
- Step 1 Fill a large stockpot pot half full with water, add a generous pinch of salt, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, blanch the green beans until they turn a vibrant green color, about 3 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well and set aside.
- Step 2 In a small saucepan, add the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary and place over medium heat. Cook until the garlic just begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with almonds, lemon zest and parsley.
- Step 3 You can reheat the green bean and toss with the gremolata or serve the beans room temperature with the gremolata drizzled on top.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin