Green Beans with Shallots
Here we go again. More Veggies for the palate. These tend to be on the sweeter side owing to the shallots and lemon. Shallots tend to be a very sweet onion of which I've grown rather fond. Once again, I'm pulling from, you guessed it, Simple French Cooking. Let's review the menu one more time.
Steak Au Poivre
Farfalle in a Broth of Wild Mushrooms and Browned Shallots
Green Beans with Shallots
1 lb. young tender green beans, preferably uniform in length (4-5 inches)
1 Tbls. Unsalted butter
3-4 Shallots, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 lemon + 4 wedges for garnish
Fresh Ground Pepper
4 Fresh mint sprigs
1) First we need to trim the ends off all the green beans. Rinse them then trim off the ends. We don't want to eat those anyway. Discard anything old or that just doesn't look good. Put the green beans in shallow dish so they all lie flat sand cover them with ice water. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes so they crisp up nicely.
2) While the beans ice, fill a large saute pan 2-3 inches deep with water. The pan should be big enough for all of the green beans to lie flat. Boil the water over high heat. Once the water is at a vigorous boil, drop in the green beans. Add 2 Tsp. of salt. Ideally, the water never loses it's boil. If it does, bring it back to a boil and cook the beans until they're crisp. It will only be 4-5 minutes once the water is boiling again.
3) Drain the beans immediately and drop them back into the ice water. We want to stop the cooking as fast as possible to keep that crisp tender texture. It will also help us keep the bright green of the bean rather the grayish tint that they get if cooked too long. Drain them and set the beans aside.
4) Put the saute pan on medium-low heat and add the butter. While it's still foaming, add all of your shallots. Saute them for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. They should be translucent, but not brown.
5) Add the green beans to the shallots and squeeze some juice from the lemon half. Anywhere from just a few drops to all the juice you can get out of it. Depends on your preferences. Add salt and pepper to suit your tastes. Toss the whole bunch until the beans are hot and evenly seasoned.
6) Transfer to a warmed serving dish and arrange the mint and lemon wedges on the plate as garnish.
That's it. Simple and easy. I use the wedges on the platter to add still more lemon juice if I want it. Depends who else is around though. Don't underestimate the effect of the mint sprigs. We may not be eating them this time, but the smell adds a whole new dimension to the dish. We eat with our eyes and our noses at least as much as with our taste buds. The smell of the mint will likely fool your taste buds into thinking there is a hint of mint in the dish itself. It's a nice effect. The whole dish makes about 4 servings and really only takes about 30 minutes if you can trim the beans quickly.
Large Saute Pan
Dish large enough for beans to lay flat
Tongs (for transferring beans)
Mandoline (Makes slicing the shallots easier)
2 Veggie servings
1 Fat serving