Thursday, June 16, 2011

Green Beans with Shallots

Jerome's cousin Isabelle served this to us when we were having lunch at her house one day last year.  The recipe is so simple but really is delicious.  I made it for my family when they were up for Logan's birthday and got many compliments on how fantastic the beans were. And I just made it again last night to go with supper.

I've gotten into the habit of buying our green beans at Costco ever since Logan was born.  Although a bit pricier than buying them at the grocery store, the fact that they come with the ends snapped off is well worth the price to me now that I have Logan and don't have time to spend my life snapping ends off of beans.  They come with two separate packages and that usually lasts us for 4-6 meals for the two of us.

It is really key for this recipe to use a good quality olive oil, as that's what gives it such good flavour. Our Costco occasionally has local vendors come in selling really good olive oils. The one we're using right now is Olive & Olives' organic extra-virgin olive oil.  Absolutely delicious!  The 500 mL bottle sells for $22 on-line, plus $10 shipping, which isn't cheap. We picked it up at Costco for about $19.  Which still isn't cheap, but it is well worth the price. I was back at the Pointe-Claire Costco just this past weekend and Olive & Olives was back again, showcasing their products.

I became sold on the justification for using good quality olive oil after my sisters came back from a trip to Turkey and brought us back a fantastic bottle of olive oil (sorry guys - I can't actually remember which one of you it was from).  Up until that point, I had always just used regular olive oil, such as Bertolli.  I now always keep two bottles of olive oil on hand.  One regular bottle, which is what I mainly use - for cooking, most salads we make, etc.  And then I keep a bottle of good olive oil, which I will use to drizzle certain veggies with or will use in salad recipes when we're having people over. 

In any case, that's enough of my pushing you to buy some good olive oil. I don't make commission.  For the green bean recipe you will need: 

green beans
good quality olive oil
salt and pepper

1.  Cook the green beans, according to how you usually prepare them (we usually steam them in our veggie steamer).

2.  While the green beans are cooking, fry a shallot or two in a bit of oil (depending on how many beans you are cooking). 

3.  When the green beans are cooked, pour a bit of good quality olive oil on them (you won't need much) and stir in the shallots.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Serve hot.

In France, they sell dried shallots in the spice aisle and this is what Isabelle made hers with. We brought back a few jars with us and that's what I've been using. But we've just run out, so I'm going to start making it with real shallots. A little more time consuming, but I figure that I can fry a bunch up at once and just add them progressively throughout the week. Or can even freeze little bunches of them in ice cube tins to pull out as we need them.  Given that you'll have to use a bit of oil to fry the shallots, you'll have to see whether or not you need to add a bit more oil to the beans once they're cooked.

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