Better Green Bean Casserole
Two big reasons to try this! One, it's got more flavor than the usual suspect. I would never go back to making it any other way. And two, you'll be awed by the alchemy of this Onion Cream Sauce. Just try to stop dipping the spoon back in again and again to taste it. No doubt you'll have many other ideas for using this savory golden cream, such as Truffle Mac 'N Cheese or Creamed Spinach (I've tried them both. Out Of This World). You can have your creamy dishes without the gut-busting heavy cream!
Green Bean Casserole
1 lb green beans
2 T olive oil
4 oz mushrooms, chopped in small pieces
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp herbes de Provence
1 cup Onion Cream Sauce, recipe follows
water, milk or soy milk as needed to thin cream sauce
salt to taste
canned crispy onions (I love Lars, a Dutch brand I buy at Zupan's here in Portland which actually comes in a pint-sized plastic container rather than a can).
In pot of salted boiling water, cook green beans until crisp tender, drain and set aside. Sauté mushrooms in olive oil in large oven safe skillet until soft. Add the garlic and herb de Provence and stir until fragrant. Add one cup of Onion Cream Sauce to the skillet with the mushrooms. Thin the cream sauce as needed with water, milk or soy milk. Add the green beans and over medium low heat, gently stir until beans are completely coated and the mixture is well heated. Top beans with canned crispy onions and serve immediately from skillet or place in oven to warm further (being careful not to bake for too long as the onion cream sauce might dry out.)
For Onion Cream Sauce
1 cup of raw cashews, soaked in 2 or more cups of water overnight
2 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
¾ cup of water (1/4 cup at a time)
Heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium high heat and sauté the onion until soft and very light golden (do not let them burn or take on too much color). Season with salt. Put onions in a blender. Drain the cashews, add them to the blender and start to purée, pausing to add water ¼ cup at a time and to wipe sides of blender with a rubber spatula. Purée until onion-cashew mixture is completely smooth and creamy. Add more salt to taste.