nostalgia recipes

Haricot Verts with Cashew Cream & Pickled Mushrooms

A private chef's aesthetically pleasing, delicious take on green bean casserole.

Private chef Lauren Gerrie (who works for clients including Marc Jacobs) believes food should be nutritious and beautiful. “I am a firm believer in eating with your eyes first! Unfortunately, the classic recipe for a green bean casserole looks more like prison food than an enticing holiday indulgence,” says Gerrie. This version reimagines the three traditional elements of the recipe (green beans, cream of mushroom soup and onions) with incredible flavors and texture.

For the cashew cream:
1 ½ cups roasted unsalted cashews
1 ¼ cups water
2 tsp Coleman’s Mustard or Dijon mustard

Directions for the cashew cream: Place the cashews in a pint container and cover with water. Refrigerate overnight with a lid. In a vitamix or high power blender, puree the cashews, water, and mustard until very smooth (about 5-8 minutes). Return mixture to the pint container and refrigerate.

For the pickled mushrooms:
2-3 cups mushrooms (I used wood ear because I love the texture and color, but you could also use beach mushroom)
1 cup water
½ cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp Kosher salt
2 tbsp organic sugar
3 tbsp sesame oil
½ cup olive oil
½ tsp caraway seeds
2 black cardamom pods
2 fresh bay leaves

Directions for the pickled mushrooms: In a small pot bring the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a gentle boil to dissolve. Add the sesame oil, olive oil, caraway seeds, cardamom pods, and bay leaves to hot liquid. Pour the hot pickled liquid over the mushrooms in a quart container and allow to cool completely before placing the top on.

Note: These can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge for a longer period of time.

For the haricots verts:
1 bag organic haricot verts (1/2 lb)
1 tsp grapeseed or vegetable oil
½ tsp Kosher salt

Directions for the haricots verts: Heat a medium cast iron pan to high heat. Toss the haricot verts with oil and salt and add them to the pan, cooking just until some of the beans get color, about 3-4 minutes.

To plate: In a small bowl, arrange about ½ cup of beans standing up on the side. Spoon a generous scoop of cashew cream. Top with two spoonfuls of strained mushrooms (keep the pickling liquid for your next batch) and sprinkle with chopped chives to garnish.

Also in this series: Pan Seared Lemon Sole with Cranberry Salsa and Roasted Kabocha Squash with Pepita Crumble