We spent the day in Chef Citrin’s famously delicious Melisse kitchen, watching as he whipped up four farm-fresh Thanksgiving recipes plucked right out of our Summerland Thanksgiving Box. Each Monday, we’ll be sharing one of this iconic chef’s holiday recipes, beginning with this healthy take on holiday green beans. Citrin uses Blue Lake beans – at their height of flavor in November – with just the right amount of toasted bread crumbs tossed in a from-scratch vinaigrette…

Everyone seems to make green beans for Thanksgiving and they don’t give them much thought – or their fair due. This recipe allows for the flavor and texture of the beans to be heightened by contrasting them with Portobello mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. The Banyuls vinaigrette elevates everything. Give them a try and add them to your repertoire (even as a regular dinner vegetable).

Blue Lake Beans with Grilled Mushrooms + Cherry Tomatoes


3/4 lb Blue Lake beans, tips trimmed
4 Portobello mushrooms, about 1 ¼ lb
¾ lb assorted cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, snipped and loosely packed
¼ cup Banyuls vinaigrette (see below)
sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Breadcrumb garnish
½ cup breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1 lemon
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Portabello marinade
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of ¼ lemon


Combine the ingredients for the Portobello marinade in a Ziploc bag with the mushrooms. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for two hours.

Heat a grill and grill the mushrooms until they are cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. If you don’t have a grill you can do this in a pan on the stove. Let the mushrooms cool. Once cool, slice them and set aside. This could be done the day before and stored in the refrigerator in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs and butter. Cook the breadcrumbs while constantly stirring with a plastic spatula, until the breadcrumbs turn nice and golden. Add the Parmesan and mix well. Transfer to a flat tray and let cool. Zest the lemon into the toasted breadcrumbs using a micro plane.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add about 1 tablespoon of salt per quart of water. Add the beans and let them cook for about 3 minutes, or until cooked through. While the beans are cooking, prepare an ice-water bath (this is a bowl of cold water with ice in it). When the beans are cooked, transfer them into the ice water and let chill. Remove the beans from the water and dry them well. Store the beans in a container with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To serve: Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, the beans and sliced portobello. Sauté the mushrooms and beans until they are warm. Add the tomatoes, parsley, shallots and Banyuls vinaigrette (see below), transfer to a bowl and mix well. Season the beans and mushrooms with sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning or dressing as needed. Sprinkle the seasoned toasted breadcrumbs over the beans and mushrooms.  Serve warm.

Banyuls Vinaigrette


1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sea salt
1 garlic clove, germ removed and pressed through a garlic press
½ shallot, chopped fine
4 oz Banyuls vinegar or sherry
1 oz red wine vinegar
2 oz water
12 oz grapeseed oil
8 oz extra virgin olive oil
2 oz lemon juice
black pepper
2 Tbsp chopped herbs  (basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary)


In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine mustard, garlic, shallots, water, herbs, vinegar and sea salt. Shake well. (Adding sea salt before the oil is important because salt does not dissolve in oil.) Add oils and shake well.  Add lemon juice and shake again. Shake well before each use.

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