Green beans with shallots

Anytime we come home from the farmers market with fresh green beans, I know exactly what to do with them, thanks to this perfectly simple recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

She uses haricot vert, which are skinnier green beans, but I usually just use the regular fat ones. I also skip the tomatoes at the end — I think the beans are just fine without them.

So here’s what you do. Fill up a sink with water and drop in the green beans. Any dirt or grass should sink to the bottom.

Snip off the ends and break them in half if they’re more than about 2 inches long.

Boil a pot of water and drop in the beans for about 4 minutes. This cooks them while keeping them crisp and retaining their bright green color.

Drain the beans in a collander. Then heat a pan (you can use the same one) over medium heat and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Slice a shallot into thin rings, and saute those until they are translucent.

Drop in the beans and saute those for another few minutes – less if you like them crisp, more if you like them softer. Season with salt and pepper, and just before you serve them, squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the top.

They went perfectly with our little grill-out for two.