Savory streusel-topped green beans aren’t your ordinary side dish. Freshly steamed green beans are covered with a blanket of oats, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Even picky eaters will eat these veggies!
I know that it’s been all food, all the time around here lately, but Thanksgiving is a mere days away. After all, Thanksgiving is all about the 3 F’s: food, friends, and family! And Hubby says not to forget football. I guess that’s 4 F’s. Of course if you are a Lion’s fan, sometimes you want to just plain forget what happened on the football field. But that’s a story for another time.
With all of the food preparations going on as of late, and all of the heavy, rich food that typically adorns the Thanksgiving table, I thought it would nice to share an easy side dish. Something that is still a bit dressy, but not overdone. And I’ll be perfectly honest – if there is one rich food that I would not mourn if I never saw it again, it’s green bean casserole. I prefer my veggies in their more natural state. Lightly steamed, lightly salted is just fine. Unless of course you want to smother them in cheese. I’ll eat most anything smothered in cheese.
So if you’d like to lighten it up a bit, give these streusel-topped green beans a go. I think they are delicious. As an added bonus, you can whip these babies up in under 20 minutes. Hooray!
What you’ll need to make the savory streusel-topped green beans:
For the beans:
½ pound fresh green beans
½ Tbs. butter, softened
For the streusel:
½ C. old fashioned oats
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 clove finely chopped garlic (about 1 tsp.)
Hefty Pinch of salt (to taste)
Hefty Pinch of black pepper (to taste)
½ C. finely shredded parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread oats in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast the oats for a few minutes until they are lightly golden brown, stirring occasionally. Toasting the oats will give the streusel an overall nuttiness. Set the toasty oats aside while you trim the beans.
Wash the green beans, and trim off the ends. I usually trim the beans into 2-3 inch pieces so they aren’t too unruly for the boys to handle, but if I were making these for a table full of adults, I would leave them long. They make for a more dramatic presentation when left long.
Pop the beans into a steamer basket in a saucepan with about an inch of water at the bottom. Cover and steam the beans over high heat, until done to your liking. I like my beans with some snap left in them so I steam them for about 5-7 minutes. Steam them a bit longer if you prefer yours a bit softer.
While the beans are steaming, heat the olive oil in a skillet until hot, then add the finely chopped garlic. Saute the garlic until it’s soft and just beginning to brown, about 30 seconds.
Add the toasted oats along with a hefty pinch of salt and pepper. Stir the oats to coat with the olive oil in the pan.
Add the cheese. And please, for the love of all that is good and right with the world, grate your own cheese. Please? The pre-shredded cheese is coated with cellulose (powdered wood pulp!) to keep it from caking, which also keeps the cheese from melting properly. Don’t believe me? Here’s the low down.
Stir the cheese into the oats very quickly, and continue doing so until it forms big clumps. Turn off the heat. By now the green beans are done steaming, so remove them from the steamer and put them into a serving dish. Toss the beans with a hefty pat of butter. It’s the right thing to do.
Then sprinkle the savory streusel over the top of the green beans and serve immediately.
The crunchy, savory streusel is such a nice compliment to the crisp-tender steamed green beans. This is a dish that you want to serve as soon as it is finished. Tenting it with aluminum foil to keep warm will soften the streusel, and no one wants to eat soggy savory streusel.