Green beans have earned their spot as the obligatory Thanksgiving vegetable for good reason — they are delicious, kid-friendly, and easy to prepare. Whether steamed, roasted, or folded into a creamy casserole, chances are they're on your holiday menu. Try a new method this year and steam-fry your green beans with shallots and mushrooms. Simple but unexpected, it's a vegetable dish that will please even the pickiest of eaters.
Steam-frying might sound complicated, but it's really just a quick way of getting vegetables tender on the stovetop without a ton of extra oil. The green beans are tossed into a skillet of sautéed mushrooms and shallots, then doused with just enough broth to steam them through. They cook for just 10 minutes, then rest for another five; you want the beans to be tender and cooked through — just past the squeaky stage.
These green beans are such a nice, fresh alternative to a casserole, and they're full of flavor, piled high with savory mushrooms and shallots. They're best served right off the stove, but you can keep them warm in a slow cooker or warm oven (tightly covered) if need be. Just don't leave your green beans to languish for more than an hour, as they tend to wilt a bit when left out too long.
If you're looking for a lighter alternative to a Thanksgiving green bean casserole, look no further. You get the same onion-y flavor from the shallots and an extra dose of savoriness from mushrooms, and since everything isn't covered with cream sauce, you can actually taste the green beans.
Green beans will darken in color after they're cooked, so while you can sauté the mushrooms and shallots ahead of time, finish cooking the green beans at the last minute.
- Christine, November 2015
Stovetop Steam-Fried Green Beans and Mushrooms
large shallots, sliced thinly
cremini or button mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 1/4 pounds
green beans, stem ends trimmed
chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth
Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat, swirling it around to coat the pan. When the butter is fully melted and has stopped foaming, add the shallots, mushrooms, and salt. Sauté until all of their liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms and they are beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the green beans to the pan and stir to evenly distribute the shallots and mushrooms. Pour the broth over the vegetables and cover the pan. Let cook, covered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand, still covered, for another 5 minutes.
Serve the green beans in a serving dish or shallow bowl, pouring all of the mushrooms and shallots over the top.
Keep the green beans warm in a slow cooker or covered dish in a warm oven for up to one hour.
Flavor variations: Basic green beans are what's expected for the holidays, but for weeknights you can dress up this dish with other flavors. Add Italian seasonings to the mushrooms and shallots for an herbed version, or add sesame oil and soy sauce for an Asian twist.