I used a combination of red and Vidalia onions for my topping which I quickly pan-fried on the stove top. The quick Bechamel Sauce, also known as Milk gravy, is so delicious and really compliments the green beans but it’s the fresh fried onions that really makes this dish a winner for me.
For the topping
- 1 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsps all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 3 Tbsp canola oil, for pan frying
- 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 qts water, for blanching
- 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup half-and-half or milk
- Combine the onions, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a large skillet with olive oil and fry the onions until they are golden brown, tossing every few minutes. Once done, remove from the skillet and drain on a paper towel until ready to use.
- Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.
- While the onions are cooking, start to prepare the beans. Bring the water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Blanch for about 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and keep the bright green color of the beans. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, while the beans are blanching, melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and stir to form a roux. Cook for 1 minute until light brown. This step cooks the flour removing any raw flour taste. Add the milk and simmer for 1 minute and cook until the mixture thickens, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg (optional) and stir well to combine.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the blanched green beans. Top with the pan fried onions. Place into the oven and bake until heated through and bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately. Enjoy!