This is my fun and yummy take on the classic Green Bean Casserole. If you know me, you know that I am a fan of cactus leaves, they are delicious and their taste is between green beans and okra. This unique combination of green beans and cactus takes your ordinary green bean casserole to the next level. So this Thanksgiving surprise your family with something new and out of your normal culinary comfort zone.
GREEN BEAN CACTUS CASSEROLE
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES | COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES | YIELDS: 6-8 SERVINGS
- 1-1/2 lbs green beans
- 1 lbs cactus leaves
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 14 white mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2-1/2 cup flour
- 1 can coconut milk equal to 1-1/2 cups
- salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp dry thyme
- 1/4 cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 6 tbsp panko bread crumbs
- 4 tbs Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Chop off ends of green beans and cut into halves.
- Using a knife remove cactus needles by sliding your knife across the needles going upwards towards the round end of the cactus. For the needles that do not lift off, take the tip of the knife and remove each needle.
- Cut cactus leaves into quarters, and slice each quarter into medium size cactus strips.
- Add green beans and cactus to a pot of boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes, then drain.
- Meanwhile in a deep saucepan, add 1 tbsp butter, garlic, and mushrooms.
- Cook mushrooms on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes until mushrooms start to sweat out moisture.
- Drain mushrooms, reserving 1/4 cup of the mushroom juice. This will give the cream sauce that mushroom taste that you would get from using cream of mushroom soup.
- Add drained green beans, cactus, garlic, and mushrooms to a casserole dish and sit aside.
- To make the roux sauce, on medium heat melt 2 tbsp butter, and whisk in the flour.
- Cook the flour and butter mix for 2 minutes, until golden brown.
- Slowly add in coconut milk and reserved 1/4 cup mushroom juice.
- Whisk together until smooth in consistency, and creamy.
- reduce heat to low and add in thyme, salt, cayenne, and nutmeg.
- Spoon out cream sauce and layer it evenly across green bean mix. Use the back of the spoon to make sure the sauce is evenly dispersed.
- Next add a layer of panko bread crumbs, then fried french onion (see prior recipe post), and top with Parmesan Cheese.
- Place casserole dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Once done, remove and let it rest for 15 minutes, this will allow for the casserole to firm.
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving, and be sure to give this easy recipe a try and let me know how you like!