Blistered Green Beans with Pickled Shallots and Toasted Breadcrumbs

updated Jan 29, 2020
Blistered Green Beans with Pickled Shallots and Toasted Breadcrumbs

Fresh green beans are stir-fried until blistered, then tossed with tangy pickled shallots and topped with crunchy, salty breadcrumbs.

Serves4 to 6

Prep10 minutes

Cook25 minutes

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Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewcyzk

I didn’t grow up in a green bean casserole household. Thanksgiving with the Lange’s means a gathering of 25 or more, with card tables tacked onto both ends of the main one. And while potatoes and cranberries appear in at least two formats each, and there’s about one pie for every five people, I have no memory of green beans — as a casserole or otherwise — ever making an appearance.

I don’t know why that is, exactly (although now, as an adult, the canned cream of mushroom soup gives me pause). In fact, I don’t remember salads or anything green at all. Clearly our priorities are with pie, not with greens.

A Fresh Take on Green Bean Casserole

I may never have had them casserole-d, but I do love green beans and the idea of a crunchy, salty topper. This recipe doesn’t look much at all like the classic, but it’s my zippy, canned-soup-less ode to it. 

It’s got green beans (fresh, not canned, then stir-fried until blistered), of course. Shallots are there too, but not fried; instead they soak in a sherry-vinegar bath while the green beans cook, then dress the beans while still warm, delivering a sparkle of acidity that can be rare on the Thanksgiving table. And there’s still a crunchy, salty finish: a heap of bread crumbs crisped until golden in olive oil, then scattered over the rest just before serving. 

Blistered Green Beans with Pickled Shallots and Toasted Breadcrumbs

Fresh green beans are stir-fried until blistered, then tossed with tangy pickled shallots and topped with crunchy, salty breadcrumbs.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    small shallot

  • 2 tablespoons

    sherry vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1

    ciabatta roll or 2 (1/2-inch thick) slices country bread (about 2 ounces)

  • 4 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1 pound

    green beans

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Peel, then thinly slice 1 small shallot into rings. Place in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Gently scrunch the shallot with your fingers, separating the rings.

  2. Tear 1 ciabatta roll or 2 (1/2-inch thick) slices bread into rough 1-inch pieces (about 1 heaping cup) and place in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until coarsely ground, with no pieces larger than 1/4 inch.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil In a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the breadcrumbs and stir to coat in the oil. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until dark golden brown and toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, trim away the stem ends of 1 pound green beans.

  4. Transfer the toasted breadcrumbs to a small bowl. Wipe out the skillet, then heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the pan over high heat until shimmering. Add the green beans, season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and cook, tossing occasionally with tongs, until tender and browned in spots, 7 to 9 minutes.

  5. Transfer the green beans to a large bowl. Use a fork to transfer the pickled shallots into the bowl, pour in about half of the vinegar, and toss to combine. Taste and season with more vinegar as needed. Serve immediately, topped with the crispy breadcrumbs and freshly ground black pepper.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The pickly shallots and the breadcrumbs can be made up to a day ahead. Store the shallots in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and the breadcrumbs in an airtight container at room temperature. The finished recipe should be served within an hour.

Ingredient/Equipment Variation: No food processor? Use a chef’s knife to roughly chop the bread into crumbs. No piece should be larger than 1/4 inch.