Green Bean Casserole – it’s a “holiday given”, right?
How about being a bit of a renegade this year? What if you switched it up with fresh, tender green beans tossed in a light, lemony butter sauce? The vibrant beans are topped with crisp, buttery lemony-herb panko crumbs.
I know, I know, Green Bean Casserole is a family institution and even better more than that, it can be made ahead and just popped in the oven at the towards the end of the holiday meal prep.
Guess what? Although these delicious green beans may not be a family institution, they have the potential to become quite revered. Even better than that, almost all of the prep can be done ahead and then warmed a few minutes before serving.
The beans are quickly blanched, then drained and plunged into cold, icy water to stop the cooking process. The lemony, buttery panko crumbs also take just a few minutes to prepared and can be stored in a zippered bag or small glass jar till it’s time for dinner. All that’s needed later is a hot pan to melt the butter and toss the brightly hued beans. Transfer them to a serving platter, scatter with the flavorful crumbs and dazzle your guests. That’s it!
Start a new tradition. They’ll be begging for this one again and again!
Fresh, tender beans with a crisp, buttery lemon-herb topping.
- 1 ½ pounds slender green beans
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small clove garlic finely minced
- ½ cup panko crumbs
- 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
- sea salt a pinch
- zest from 1 small lemon
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Up to a day in advance, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Place a large sieve (strainer) in the sink and prepare a large bowl of ice water.
When water is rapidly boiling add 1 teaspoon salt and green beans. Return water to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Don't overcook.
Drain beans well through sieve, then immediately plunge into ice water. Swish beans with your hands for 10 seconds. Drain well and spread out on a clean kitchen towel, removing any remaining ice. Pat with towel to dry then wrap in several thicknesses of paper towel and place in a zippered plastic bag.
For the panko crumbs, melt butter until bubbly in a small sauté pan. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds then add panko crumbs and sesame seeds and sea salt. Cook, stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat and add lemon zest and herbs. Stir to combine and set aside. The panko crumbs can be prepared several hours ahead of time. Wait until just before serving to add the fresh herbs and lemon zest.
Just before serving, melt the last tablespoon of butter in a large saute pan. Allow butter to get foamy and golden.. Watch carefully so butter doesn't burn. Add lemon juice and green beans and toss gently until beans are hot, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter. Add lemon zest and fresh herbs to panko crumbs and sprinkle over the beans.