Balsamic Green Beans with Crunchy Shallots
What really makes this green bean dish memorable is the robust sweetness of the balsamic reduction along with the crispy crunchy of the fried shallots. Not that the green beans are keeping up mind you, but the sweet-tart flavor of balsamic and the crunchy mini-onion ring bites will keep people going back for more. You better make a double batch.
Tip: Just an FYI, these shallot rings are a great addition to top just about anything, from steaks and burgers to casseroles and soups. Make this one of your kitchen staples (they’ll keep well for about four days if fried correctly and stored in an airtight container with a paper towel.)
- 2 pounds fresh haricots verts (tiny green beans), trimmed
- 6 large shallots
- ½ cup corn starch, seasoned with salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup lightly salted roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon (about 5 slices)
- Cook beans in boiling salted water until crisp-tender, they should bend slightly but still snap cleanly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and plunge beans into ice water to halt cooking. Drain again and set aside.
- Cut shallots crosswise into thin slices; separate into rings. A mandolin is good for this. Pour oil to depth of 1 inch into a heavy saucepan; heat over medium-high heat to 350°.
- Pat shallots dry and toss with corn starch. Shake off excess starch and fry shallots, in batches, 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp and brown. Remove from skillet using a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
- Cook vinegar and sugar in a large flat skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes or until reduced to 3 tablespoons. Stir in butter until blended.
- Add beans, and sauté 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated; season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on a serving platter. Top with shallots, almonds, and bacon. Serve immediately.