Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Caramelized Shallots
- 1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 5 small shallots, thinly sliced (or ~ 3 large)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- sprinkling of sugar, to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped
Place the slivered almonds in a dry skillet over low heat, and cook and stir constantly until the almonds are lightly toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Watch carefully, because they burn easily. Remove the almonds and set aside.
Heat butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots and red pepper and sprinkle with sugar, salt, and pepper, and reduce heat to low. Cover, and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the shallots caramelize - say 15 minutes?
Boil or steam the green beans until just tender enough to pierce with a fork, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain the green beans, place them into the skillet with the shallot mixture, mix well, and gently stir in the toasted almonds.
See also this excellent post on caramelizing onions. Tip: a dash of baking soda will speed up the process. Also you can do it on a higher heat and add water if it sticks.