As soon as Thanksgiving comes to a close this year, I’m heading into Boston to set-up the Eat Boutique Holiday Market. I’d love to toast in the season with you in style at a free (yes FREE!) Le Parfait Jars Holiday Celebration on Saturday, December 5th from 6-8PM. Just RSVP and we’ll have glasses of bubbly and little appetizers waiting for you as you shop. Free bubbly + free appetizers + food gift shopping is going to start your holidays (and mine) off perfectly. C’est parfait!
I’ve signed a lot of cookbooks during the last six weeks and, during this past weekend, I enjoyed my final 2015 signing (outside of the Eat Boutique Holiday Market, of course) at a big food and gift festival not far from my home. Gosh, it was a lot of fun. I actually started to feel a little of that thing they call “holiday spirit” watching everyone shop and munch on my Sweet-and-Sour Cranberries and Honeyed Kumquats, two recipes from the “Preserved Gifts” chapter of my cookbook. After passing out cheese and crackers and cranberries, I’m feeling so ready to get this holiday thing on…
One of the most-asked questions at my cookbook signings is: “Are there any healthy recipes that I can gift folks this holiday season?” Well, hells yeah. My new cookbook has dips, chips, salads, salad dressings, soup, chicken stock, and even a fruit-filled crisp that happens to be gluten-free. And today, I’m sharing a revamped Green Bean Casserole that’s a little like a salad meshed with the Thanksgiving classic. (And it’s such a cute food gift.)
I’m making this Green Bean Casserole for my twenty-person dinner this Thursday. I’ll make all the components in advance and assemble just a few moments before we sit down to eat. Actually, the steps are so effortless that I may just cook it all up right before the two turkeys are ready to come out of the smoker… yes, two smoked turkeys = we crazy! + lots of delicious turkey stock!
If, however, you’re going off to someone’s home for the big day, make it early, pack it up and assemble it on the spot. It’s such a forgiving dish. The green beans taste fresh hours later; just make sure not to cook them too long in the pan. Caramelized shallots just taste yummier with time, of course. And the cauliflower crumbs stand in as a dark and toasty bread crumb topping. For extra brightness, sprinkle on some additional apple cider vinegar right before serving.
I know we’re heading into the most indulgent time of the year — and I’m due to bake up some Molasses Cookies (from my cookbook) and this Sweet Potato Pie — but a little lightness is kinda wonderful too.
Green Bean "Casserole"
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 55 Minutes
- 1 head cauliflower
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Sea salt, to taste
- 2 medium shallots
- 1 pound green beans, cleaned and stems trimmed
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the cauliflower into small pieces that are about the size of cranberries. Place on the lined baking sheet, and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Roast in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes, tossing and stirring regularly, until the cauliflower takes on the color of dark bread crumbs. Remove from the oven and cool. Place in a very small container to gift.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, slice the shallots into thin slivers. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and coat in the olive oil. Lower the heat to low-medium and cook until the shallots have become translucent and caramelized only slightly, about 12 to 15 minutes. Carefully add the vinegar and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until most of the vinegar evaporates, leaving a bright flavor. Let cool. Place in a small container to gift.
- In the same pan in which you cooked the shallots, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and toss in the green beans. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, tossing the green beans every so often to cook all sides, until wilted slightly but still crisp. Let cool. Place in a medium- to large-size container to gift.
- Gift all three containers stacked and wrapped with ribbon. To assemble, place green beans on a serving platter. Top with shallots and then cauliflower crumbs. Serve at room temperature with an extra sprinkle of extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.
- 3 stackable containers of differing sizes
- Stack your containers on top of each other.
- Drape a long length of ribbon over the top of the stack. Cross the ends of the ribbon under the stack and twist the ribbon back up the other side of the stack. Tie off in a knot and leave the length of ribbon long, so your recipient may re-use it.