Side dishes don’t have to be boring.
I’ll admit – I have a bad habit (or a good one, really) of adding a simple green salad to a meal and calling it a day. Sometimes, however, you need something with a substance to serve on the side.
For instance: If you’re making the shrimp I posted yesterday, a side salad just isn’t going to cut it.
I think these green beans would be wonderful with pretty much anything. Frenched beans are, of course, inherently French, so they work perfectly for February in France. They’re generally made by first blanching until crisp-tender and then sautéeing briefly. As with any high-quality ingredients, you shouldn’t need much to make them into something fabulous. And, for me, shallots lightly browned in butter has the ability to make pretty much anything fabulous.
French green beans, also known as haricots verts, are a skinnier, more tender type of green bean. You can also opt to French-cut regular green beans by either cutting them in half vertically down the middle or by using a funky apparatus. Frenching green beans one-by-one seems too time-consuming for me and so I usually opt to buy the French-style beans, even though they’re a bit more expensive.
French Green Beans + Shallots
Adapted from the New York Times
- 1 pound French green beans, cleaned
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Hit of fresh lemon juice
Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the beans and cover the pot. Continue cooking the beans, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes until tender but firm. Drain and rinse under cold water – this ensures your beans will stop cooking and retain their beautiful bright green color.
At serving time, heat the butter in a skillet, add the shallots and sauté for a minute or two, until the shallots start to brown.
Add the beans, salt and pepper, and sauté briefly. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and serve.
Makes 4 servings.