Roasted Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots
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Seasoned simply with olive oil and salt, these roasted green beans emerge from the oven in just about 20 minutes, crisp-tender in texture with blistered edges. Here they’re topped with caramelized shallots, and the savory-sweet combination is irresistible.
My youngest child has fallen in love with gymnastics. With several of her weekday practices running late into the evening, our post-practice routine has become to stop by Stewart’s for fuel: for milkshakes or ice cream or, recently, for Funyuns.
I have no idea where she learned of them, but on one stop last month, she pulled a bag off the shelf as casually as I pull milk from the cooler and threw them on the checkout counter. On the drive home, she insisted I taste a few. They’re so good, Mom, she said. You have to have some.
She was not wrong. They are addictively delicious, and as she continued to hand me fistfuls of Funyuns, I couldn’t help but wish our family Thanksgiving tradition included some sort of green bean casserole topped with crispy fried onions or, better: Funyuns!
Don’t worry. This is not a post about DIY Funyuns or elevated green bean casserole. I have never experienced an authentic green bean casserole so I wouldn’t know where to begin.
But I do love green beans. And I do love the idea of green beans on the Thanksgiving table. And I do love the idea of those green beans being topped with crispy fried onions.
The recipe below is the result of several endeavors to create a green bean-ish casserole topped with crispy fried onions without actually having to fry the onions. Spoiler: it didn’t work. I couldn’t get the onions (or shallots) really crisp without using a fair amount of hot oil, and I just don’t love that process.
But what I don’t mind doing, especially in the name of a holiday side dish, is to slowly cook shallots on the stovetop until they turn deep amber in hue, become meltingly tender in texture, and taste as sweet as candy. These caramelized shallots pair so well with roasted green beans, which emerge from the oven in just about 20 minutes, crisp-tender in texture with blistered edges.
I find this savory-sweet combination irresistible and while I had low expectations of my children enjoying them, two of them have, my son especially. The first time I served them, he took one bite, then, commenting on their sweetness, scooped another hefty portion onto his plate.
Friends, these beans hold well at room temperature and will make their debut on my family’s holiday table this Thanksgiving, which somehow is less than two weeks away. I’ve added some notes in the recipe box below should you wish to add them to your menu. I hope all of your holiday plans are going well!
Roasted Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots, Step by Step
First, gather some shallots.
Then thinly slice them: You, of course, can use a knife, but if you are comfortable using a mandoline, now is the time to break it out.
You need roughly two cups of sliced shallots:
Add the shallots to a skillet with some olive oil:
You can start the skillet over high heat, but as soon as the shallots begin sizzling, turn the heat to low.
This is an exercise of patience: as the shallots begin to slowly brown, stir occasionally:
They’re getting there…
… there they are! When the shallots turn deep amber in hue, they’re done.
Transfer them to a paper towel or towel-lined plate. Season with flaky sea salt.
You can make the shallots days ahead of time. Store them at room temperature in an airtight vessel for 3 to 5 days.
While the shallots caramelize on the stovetop, get going on the green beans: I’ve been buying these French green beans from Whole Foods, which conveniently are already trimmed, and which are very tasty, too. Of course, regular green beans will work in their place.
This is two pounds of beans — scale down or up as needed. Toss with extra-virgin olive oil and salt.
Transfer to a 450ºF oven for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on how many pounds of green beans you are cooking.
Out of the oven, toss the green beans with vinegar. Taste and adjust with salt to taste.
Transfer the beans to a serving platter.
Top with those irresistibly sweet shallots.Print
- Green beans: I’ve been buying the French green beans (haricot verts) from Whole Foods, which are very tasty, and which conveniently are already trimmed. If you are using regular greens beans, trim away the rough stem (where the bean would attach to the vine) as opposed to the pointy tip.
- Timing: If you are looking to serve these on the holiday table, here are a few thoughts: the shallots can be made 2-3 days ahead of time and stored in an airtight vessel at room temperature. The beans, however, should be roasted the day of serving. I tried reheating day-old, refrigerated beans, and they left much to be desired. I have, however, made these several times earlier in the day and served them at room temperature and they were delicious. If you have time or the oven space to roast the beans after the turkey emerges from the oven or in a second oven closer to serving time, that is ideal, otherwise, I think you could definitely roast them before your turkey enters the oven, transfer them onto a platter, top with the caramelized shallots, and hold them at room temperature before your turkey enters the oven.
- 5 to 7 shallots (enough to yield 2 cups sliced)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds green beans, trimmed, see notes above
- kosher salt, I use Diamond Crystal brand (see Instructions below if using Morton or fine sea salt)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar or whatever vinegar you like
- flaky sea salt
- Heat the oven to 450ºF (convection roast if possible).
- Thinly slice the shallots. I love using my mandoline for this, but a knife works just fine, too. You need roughly 2 cups.
- Place 1/4 cup of the olive oil and the shallots in a skillet (I’ve been using a 9-inch cast iron skillet) and set over high heat. As soon as the oil and the shallots begin to sizzle, give the shallots a stir, then turn the heat to low. Line a plate with a paper towel or cloth dish towel. Cook the shallots for 25 to 30 minutes or more, stirring occasionally until they’ve turned a deep amber hue — be patient here. The shallots will soften first, then slowly begin to caramelize. If you turn up the heat, they’ll burn quickly. Low and slow is the name of the game here. That said, you can turn up the heat here and there if you wish, but if you do, stir continuously. As soon as you walk away from the skillet, turn the heat to low. Once the shallots are caramelized and beginning to crisp, use a slotted spoon or slotted spatula to transfer them to your prepared plate. Season with a generous pink of flaky sea salt. Once they are completely cool, you can transfer them to a storage container. Store at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
- Meanwhile, place the green beans on a rimmed sheet pan (at least 13 x 18 inches). Toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt. If you are sensitive to salt, use 1.5 teaspoons to start. I do not find 2 teaspoons of salt to be too salty here, and I, in fact, finish the green beans with more flaky sea salt to taste (but, as many of you know, I do love salt). If you are using Morton Kosher salt, you’ll want to use half as much: start with 3/4 teaspoon, then season with more to taste after the beans have roasted. And same goes for fine sea salt: use 3/4 teaspoon to start.
- Spread the beans in an even layer, then transfer the pan to the oven for 15 minutes (or 10 minutes if using only 1 pound of beans). Remove the pan, stir the beans, then return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes more or until some of the greens are charred at the edges and all of the greens are crisp-tender.
- Remove the pan from the oven and toss with 2 to 3 teaspoons of the vinegar (I use 3 teaspoons). Taste. Add flaky sea salt or more kosher salt to taste. Toss, taste, and adjust with more salt and vinegar to taste.
- Transfer the beans to a platter, then top with the caramelized shallots. Serve immediately or at room temperature. I find these delicious at room temperature or even beyond room temperature (as in cold many hours later but not refrigerated cold).
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop, Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: green beans, olive oil, salt, shallots, vinegar