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Haricots Verts with Almonds Recipe (Tiny French Green Beans)

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“Crunchy Green Beans with Almonds and Butter!”  cries the smallest of my small ones.  Not that he’s very small any more, as he’s approaching his fifth birthday.  This is likely both my children’s very favorite vegetable, yet hell hath no fury if I run out of slivered almonds.

The proper name for the tiny french green beans is haricots verts (ah-ree-ko v-eh-rr).  That’s my personal pronunciation guide, so your mileage may vary.  As other children hustled off to Camp Longhorn or Mystic or Birch Knoll, I begged to go to French camp at Concordia Language Villages [2] in central Minnesota.  Instead of soundly declaring me completely dorky, I prefer to think this an example of my endearingly bizarre nature.  Unfortunately, I can offer no tips on Spanish pronunciation, my husband declared me useless there years ago.  (I do think I’m improving with my Pimsler’s Spanish Audio Cds [3].)  In retrospect, I also went to computer engineering camp before my junior year in high school.  Only student not to get my 2 bit by 2 bit multiplier to work.  Yep, I think I’ve confirmed myself totally dorky.

Anyhow, these haricots verts are a super fast, healthy side, perfect for a weeknight.  I hope you enjoy them as much as my children and I do.  If you enjoy your shallots more caramelized – cook longer right after you add them.  Bon appetit!

Haricots Verts with Almonds Recipe

serves 5 adults

1 lb haricots verts, cleaned and ends trimmed

1 and 1/2 tbsp butter

2 large shallots, sliced into thin rings

1/2 c. blanched, slivered almonds

1/2 tsp kosher salt

12 turns fresh ground pepper

1/4 tsp dried oregano

Place a steamer basket or a colander over a pan of boiling water.  Place haricots verts in steamer basket and cover with a lid.  Steam for about 2 minutes then, taste to check tenderness.  When bright green, softened, but still crunchy – remove from heat and plunge into an ice bath to stop cooking.  This batch took approximately 2 minutes and 45 seconds.  They need to be *vibrant* green!

Drain haricots verts and pat dry with a towel.  Heat a saute pan over medium heat for three minutes.  Add butter, let melt, then add shallots.  Cook two minute, then add haricots verts and almonds.  Season with salt, pepper, and oregano.  Cook two more minutes, then serve.