Green bean casserole is a dish that has haunted my dreams. I have made several versions of it for Americans working in Vancouver over their Thanksgiving Holiday. For the first Thanksgiving I catered, I googled ‘American Thanksgiving classics’ just to make sure I didn’t miss out on anyone’s favourites. I wasn’t expecting it to be too much different from ours, and it wasn’t, except for this mystery casserole (oh yeah, also the marshmallow yams…).
I knew I couldn’t buy canned mushroom soup and boxed fried onions to serve over green beans for people who were at their most thankful (and paying me actual money). Not in good conscience anyway. So green bean casserole became something I thought about a disproportionate amount in October/November. I have made it with real mushrooms and heavy cream, topped with deep fried shallots, I’ve made it with a rich, gluten-free mascarpone béchamel, dried porcinis and double smoked bacon and now, years later, I have my most current version, the one I am most proud of.
Whether gb casserole is a part of conversation in your household this time of year, or you are like I was, Canadian and gbc-ignorant, this is something you are going to want to try. To say it is gluten-free, dairy-free, and plant-based doesn’t drum up a lot of enthusiasm in times of comfort food requirements, I’m well aware of this. Don’t worry, despite its pure soul, it is just as rich and decadent as the original. The dairy is replaced by some blended up nuts and hemp hearts, the mushrooms are as wild as you can find them, and the (3 ingredient), extremely addictive crispy onions can almost be considered straight up health food.