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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Italian Green Bean Casserole

As part of our Labor Day feast, I wanted to use up the large bushel of green beans that I had gotten from my CSA. However, we wanted something different than just steamed veggies, so this was born. I have never made the traditional green bean casserole you see normally on Thanksgiving tables, nor have I ever eaten one I enjoyed, so I went into this with blind. I opened the fridge, gathered a few basic ingredients, and went to work on something that would nicely compliment the lemon pepper marinated chicken and roasted beets and potatoes. Judging by the round of "mmmm's" and "yum's" that ensued once we all tasted this casserole, I think it is a sure fire win, and will definitely be gracing my Thanksgiving table. It may seem simple, but the flavors pop, adding a nice blast of Italian merriment in your mouth.

Italian Green Bean Casserole
(serves 6)

3 C green beans, chopped into 1" pieces
1 C mozzarella cheese
1/2C - 1C breadcrumbs
4 T butter
1/4 C fresh basil, chopped
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Add in green beans and cook until al dente - overcooking will make for a mushy casserole. Meanwhile, in a skillet, melt butter and add in bread crumbs. Mix and cook for about 3-5 minutes, just until crumbs are starting to toast a bit. Set aside. Drain green beans and toss into a casserole dish. Stir in basil, salt, pepper and cheese. Press flat then add bread crumbs to top. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

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