French green beans (aka haricot vert) with sweet and savory caramelized shallots are an essential side dish for a rich and comforting Thanksgiving dinner!
The thing I love about these green beans (or haricot vert) is that they add lightness and brightness to rich and heavy dinners. For instance, these beans are a staple on my Thanksgiving table and they add a freshness that can be often overlooked on a day like Thanksgiving where every side dish is buttery and creamy (and rightfully so.)
French green beans also known as “haricot vert” are thinner, more tender and flavorful than traditional green beans. You can easily find them in most grocery stores, especially around the holidays. Just make sure you trim off the woody stem before cooking.
French Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots
French Green Beans (Haricot Vert)
- 2 lb haricot vert, cleaned + trimmed
- 3 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper
- 8 large shallots, peeled and sliced thin
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Heat the oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt. Cook the shallots, stirring often until they are soft and translucent. When they begin to turn golden brown turn heat down to low, sprinkle in the sugar and continue to cook until very soft, and caramelized about 25 minutes. Stir often to prevent scorching.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans to the pot and cook for 3-5 minutes until they become bright green and tender. Drain the beans and put them back into the pot with the butter, half of the caramelized shallots and a pinch of salt.
- Toss the beans with the butter and shallots then transfer to a serving platter and top with the remaining caramelized shallots. Serve immediately!