When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’m a bit of a traditionalist. Sure, I try out a handful of new recipes each year, but for the most part, I tend to stick with the classic, comforting flavors most Americans associate with this holiday. Take for example green bean casserole; while I’ve never quite come around to the original recipe that’s made with cream of mushroom soup and packaged fried onions, there’s certainly something to be learned from that combination of green beans with umami-rich mushrooms and onions.
Here, I take these classic flavors and update them by using an unexpected technique. Instead of blanching or gently sautéeing the green beans, I took inspiration from a favorite Chinese dish, Szechuan-style green beans, cooking the vegetable until slumped and blistered in spots for an extra hit of flavor and a chewy, rich texture. Paired with caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, a splash of sherry vinegar, and a topper of toasted almonds (for crunchy contrast), it’s a dish that feels at once super familiar and brand new.
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