Entomophagy Recipes: Greens and Mushroom Béchamel Casserole with Mealworms
June 2, 2019
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This creamy and delicious variation on the classic holiday casserole will have even the most reluctant ento-neophyte piling it on their plate. I made it for my family and it was gobbled up almost before I had unfolded my napkin. This recipe calls for Mealworm Crispy Crumbs, please see the recipe for how to prepare.
Total: 1 hr; Active: 30 mins; Serves 4
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound green beans
- 1 pound fresh green asparagus
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 large sprigs fresh thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup mealworm crispy crumbs
1. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and green beans, and boil for about 1-3 minutes until bright green and barely tender, but not fully cooked. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, and drain. Remove unappetizing ends from both green beans and asparagus, and set aside.
2. Warm oil in a very large pan or wok, over medium-high heat. Sauteé mushrooms for about 4 minutes. When slightly browned but not fully cooked, add 4 tablespoons butter along with fresh thyme sprigs, and toss ingredients together, cooking until fragrant; approximately 4 more minutes. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
3. In a large pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Add flour and whisk until it has formed a fragrant roux; approximately 4 minutes. Slowly whisk milk and cream. Increase heat to a low simmer and continue to whisk often. After approximately 5 minutes, when sauce is thick, creamy, and bubbling, remove from heat and add garlic and parmesan cheese. Add salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste.
4. In a large baking dish, assemble a layer of green beans, asparagus, and mushrooms. Pour sauce over greens and mushrooms generously. If it doesn't look like enough sauce, don't worry–it will bubble and spread as the casserole bakes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake approximately 25-30 minutes, until sauce is bubbling. While the casserole is baking, you can make the Mealworm Crispy Crumbs, if you haven't already. After the casserole is boiling, remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes, until it is lightly browned. Add the Mealworms, and bake just enough to crisp the mealworms, approximately 5 minutes. Remove casserole from oven and let it set for about 10 minutes before serving.
This entomophagy recipe is included in Bugs for Beginners, a cookbook which teaches Westerners how to prepare edible insects and safely eat a bug. Text may include affiliate links
I'm Mic. I love reading about, writing about, thinking about, photographing, and especially eating, food. Especially bug food. Enough talk, let's eat!