Vegan Green Bean Casserole with Creamy Chickpea Sauce
- 1 tsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 onion, yellow; chopped
- 1 pound green beans, cut; frozen or fresh
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas, cooked; or 1 (15 oz.) can per 1 1/12 cups, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 garlic
- 1 1/2 tsps salt, divided
- 1 sprig rosemary, fresh (1 sprig is about 1 tsp minced)
- pepper, black; freshly ground
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, dry roasted, skins removed
- 1/4 tsp salt, for topping
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Heat the olive oil in a 3½-quart dutch oven over medium heat and sauté the onion until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the frozen green beans and ½ teaspoon of salt and stir well. Cover the pot and let the vegetables cook until heated through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, combine the chickpeas, water, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, rosemary, a couple grinds of fresh black pepper, and the balsamic vinegar into a blender. Blend until smooth and set aside. If you'd like to prepare the optional topping, use a mini food processor or blender to grind together the hazelnuts and salt, just until coarsely ground. (It's doesn't need to be super-fine like a nut flour-- you want some crunch!)
- When the vegetables are tender, pour the sauce over the top and stir well. Adjust any seasoning to taste, then sprinkle the crushed hazelnut mixture over the top, if using. Bake the casserole at 350ºF for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are piping hot and the topping is lightly golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.