Sunday, April 12, 2015

String Beans with Shallots & Toasted Almonds

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa Family Style
Adapted and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Serves 6

You will love having this bright green dish on your table as a side to just about any meal.  You can toast the almonds and blanch the beans in advance, so it’s perfect for a dinner party.

1 pound French string beans** (haricots verts), ends removed
Kosher salt (for blanching)
1 to 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 large shallots, large-diced
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup or so roughly chopped almonds, toasted in a dry skillet
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)

Blanch the string beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 ½ to 2 minutes only.** Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.  Place the beans on a clean towel to dry a bit.  (This can be done in advance.  Chill the beans in the fridge for up to two days.)

Heat the butter and oil in a very large sauté pan (at least 12-inch diameter) or large pot and sauté the shallots on medium heat for 5 minutes or so, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the green beans to the shallots with the salt and pepper, tossing well. Heat only until the beans are hot.
If using fresh lemon juice, squeeze just a bit over the beans just before serving.

**If you're using regular string beans, blanch them for about 3 minutes, until they're crisp-tender.

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