Several years ago a friend of mine made a similar green bean dish for her Christmas buffet and this recipe has become a fall/ winter favorite of mine ever since. The sweet taste of caramelized shallots, toasty almonds and chewy craisins are the perfect foil for fresh green beans. This dish is a healthy alternative to a green bean casserole, and the festive color combo makes it the perfect side dish for a Christmas dinner. Serve with turkey, roasted meat or a whole tenderloin.
Try substituting walnuts for the almonds and dried cherries for the craisins. If you can find them, use slender French haricots verts.
Green Beans with Shallots, Almonds & Craisins
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
¼ C. slivered almonds
1 Tbs. olive oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
Salt & Freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ C. craisins
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a pinch of kosher salt to the water, along with the green beans and cook until bright green and slightly tender, about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse with cold water and immediately plunge into an ice bath (fill a large bowl with ice cubes and water). Once beans are cool, drain and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside. [Beans can be prepared up to this point 1 day in advance, covered and refrigerated until ready to use.]
2. Toast the almonds in a large fry pan over medium heat, stirring continuously, until slightly golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. In the same pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the beans to the pan. Sauté, stirring continuously, until heated through, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss with almonds and craisins, then transfer to serving bowl and serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6