Green Beans with Shallots
French string beans are the slender ones you are most likely to find in specialty markets, but you can also make this with regular string beans. This recipe can be prepared almost entirely in advance. After the string beans are blanched, all you have to do is sauté the shallots in butter and toss the beans in the pan until they're warm.
pound French string beans (haricots verts), ends removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoons good olive oil
3 large shallots, large-diced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
the string beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 1/2 minutes only.
Drain the beans immediately and immerse them in a bowl of ice water.
Heat the butter and oil in a very large sauté pan and sauté the shallots on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Toss them occasionally.
Drain the string beans and add to the shallots with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper, tossing well.
Heat only until the beans are hot.
Note: The above 1 1/2 minutes of suggested cooking time is for actual French string beans. If you're using regular string beans, blanch them for about 3 minutes, until they're crisp-tender. I would also suggest drying the beans on paper towels to make sure they're as dry as possible before adding them to the shallots.