The holidays just don’t feel the same without this creamy casserole, so I’ve re-created it without the heavy cream, MSG, or gluten. This dish involves a few steps, so it’s helpful to do it in stages ahead of time. Make the sauce up to three days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Prepare the green beans in advance by trimming them and storing in a bowl of water, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Makes 10 to 12 servings
Prep time: one hour
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 1 cup whole raw cashews
- 1 tbs. ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, halved
- 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tbs. sherry (optional)
- 1 cup water
- 1 3⁄4 cups chicken stock
- 1½ tsp. fine sea salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 lb. thin green beans, ends trimmed
- ½ cup palm shortening, bacon fat, or ghee for frying
- 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Soak for one hour.
Meanwhile, heat the ghee in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, shallot, and garlic, and sauté for 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms and shallot have softened. Pour in the sherry and simmer for five minutes to reduce the liquid.
Drain and rinse the cashews, transfer them to a blender, add the water, and blend until very smooth.
Add the mushroom mix, half the stock, the salt, pepper, and thyme to the blender, and pulse a few times until the mushrooms are bite-size. Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the remaining stock. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the mushroom mixture with the green beans and spoon into a casserole dish. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, until the beans are tender and the sauce is bubbling. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.
To make the topping, heat the palm shortening, bacon fat, or ghee in a small, deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, pan-fry the shallots for about five minutes, until golden brown. Drain and cool in a single layer on a plate lined with paper towels.
Top the casserole with the crispy shallots and serve warm.
Reprinted with permission from Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple and Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion by Danielle Walker, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
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