Tuesday, February 17, 2015

French Beans with Slow Fried Shallots

I'm forever brainstorming side dishes that are simple enough for weeknight cooking, yet elegant and impressive enough to serve at a dinner party.  My requirements for both are simple ingredients, and minimal hands-on cooking involved. 

Believe it or not, these French Beans with Slow Fried Shallots meet both criteria.  I absolutely love French Beans (also known among the fancy people as haricots verts), which are really very similar to green beans, but doesn't "haricots verts" sound so much more sophisticated? French beans are a bit more narrow than a standard green bean, and they roast up to crisp-tender perfection in the oven. 

Now on to these slow fried shallots. O.M.Gosh, these are delicious.  The only challenge with this recipe is not eating all of the crispy shallots before you have time to top the beans with them.  With no breading required, all you need to do is heat some olive oil, add the shallots, and let them simmer away until they reach the golden brown realm of perfection. 

This dish is prepared is prepared from start to finish in under fifteen minutes, with only a few stirs required! 

Ingredients (Serves 4):
*1 c. shallots (from about 1 large shallot), thinly sliced
* 1 lb. french beans
*1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
*salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 400.  Arrange the french beans on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 10-12 minutes, or until crisp-tender. 

Use your fingers to separate the rings of the shallots.  Heat a small skillet over medium heat, and add the remaining 1/2 c. olive oil.  When the oil is shimmering, drop one piece of shallot in and if it sizzles, the oil is ready.  Add all remaining shallots and slow-fry for 12 minutes, or until the shallots are golden brown.  Remove the shallots with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel to drain.  Season lightly with salt. 

To serve, top the french beans with the shallots.  Enjoy! 

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