Green Bean Gratin – Let’s hear it for the Veggies!

Green Bean Gratin


I hosted a family Christmas gathering which included many of the standard holiday buffet favorites, Glazed Ham, Biscuits and Cheesy Potatoes.  But just to mix it up a little, I decided to add a touch of flair with the veggies. I am a real veggie girl, so in my opinion, they’re worth fussing over. This Green Bean Gratin side dish includes….

mushrooms, red pepper and shallots and gets a great flavor boost from Boursin cheese, tarragon, and lemon zest. Even the topping branches out from the standard bread crumb & butter, to include Parmesan and sliced almonds.  Give it a whirl, next time you want to give the often neglected side dish the star treatment! Another bonus is that this dish can be made up to 2 days in advance, which is always appreciated by cooks who also like to enjoy their own parties.

Green Bean Gratin

Serves 12


  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for baking dish
  • 3/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1 round (5 1/4 ounce) Boursin Cheese (I used Shallot & Chive Flavored)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3/4 grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 13 x 9 baking dish or casserole.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath (fill large enough bowl to hold green beans with cold water and ice.)
  • Add green beans to boiling water and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain the beans and plunge into ice bath. Add additional ice on top of green beans to help stop the cooking process. When beans are chilled, drain and set aside.
  • In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until transparent, about 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened and the mushrooms have given up their liquid, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute more. Stir in the sherry, mixing well, then add milk while whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 1 minute, then cook for 3 minutes longer.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the Boursin cheese, 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper, lemon zest and tarragon. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Add the reserved green beans and toss to combine. Transfer to the baking dish (the dish may be made up to this point 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
  • To finish: In a small bowl stir together panko, Parmesan, and almonds. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and put over bread crumb mixture and toss to combine. Sprinkle topping over green beans. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the bean mixture is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.


Adapted Star Tribune Taste section recipe

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