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French Green Beans With Shallots, Dijon, And Honey are tender, crisp, and packed full of sweet and savory flavor. These fresh green beans are blanched and cooked with shallots, honey, and Dijon mustard until they are tender, then butter is added for a smooth, silky finish.
Gone are the days of sad, mushy green beans from a can. These French style green beans will be right at home on a holiday table or as a side dish for a weeknight dinner.
These simple French Green Beans With Shallots, Honey, And Dijon are so easy to make, and can be on your dinner table in about 20 minutes. None of the ingredients are hard to come by, so you can make this delicious recipe this week! It would be a perfect healthy side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas. You know, break up the carbs and cheese, lol. Here’s what you’ll need:
- fresh green beans – now, to be truly French you should use haricot verts, which are a French variety of green beans. My local fancy grocery store has haricot verts, however, they looked kind of sad and old when I was testing this recipe. So, I used regular green beans and they worked perfectly. Choose your player. Either way, the cooking process is exactly the same, haricot verts may just need a slightly shorter cooking time once they hit the frying pan.
- a big pot of boiling water – be sure to salt the water after it comes to a boil. This helps give the beans flavor and a bright green color.
- a large bowl of ice water
- extra-virgin olive oil
- one shallot
- fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Dijon mustard
- a pat of cold butter
- roughly chopped almonds (optional, but tasty)
You just need a few simple pieces of equipment to make these delightful sautéed green beans. You’ll need:
- a chef’s knife
- a cutting board
- a large pot
- either a colander, fine mesh sieve or a spider strainer (for removing the beans from the boiling water)
- a large bowl (like a mixing bowl)
- a kitchen towel
- a large skillet
- a pair of tongs (or a rubber spatula, but I find it easier to move the beans in the pan with tongs)
How To Make French Green Beans With Shallots, Dijon, And Honey
Blanch The Green Beans
”What the heck does ‘blanch’ mean” you ask? Blanching is the process of quickly cooking a vegetable in boiling, salted water for a very short period of time, and then plunging those veggies into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This gives green vegetables a gorgeous, vibrant color while also preparing them for other cooking applications.
You could throw raw green beans into a pan and sauté them, but they would take a longer time to cook, they would cook unevenly, and end up looking sad and brownish. By blanching them first, we soften up our fresh beans a little bit (while locking in that beautiful bright green color), so that when they meet the direct heat of the skillet they cook evenly and quickly. This results in tender green beans that are still crisp. No mushy beans here! Here’s how to do it:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Trim the ends off of your green beans or haricot verts, and give them a quick rinse.
- Add salt to the boiling water. You want the water to be medium salty. Don’t be shy. Remember, most of the salt will go down the drain with the water, so we need some to get into the beans. As a general rule, you want about one and a half to two teaspoons of sea salt to every quart of water.
- Set up the ice water bath. Fill a large mixing bowl with cold water and ice.
- Add the green beans to the boiling water and let them cook for about 3 minutes.
- Remove them from the boiling water and plunge those beans into the ice water.
Sauté The Green Beans
- Finely dice the shallot and remove the green beans from the ice water. Wait until the beans are cold – like really cold – to take them out. Lay them on a kitchen towel in a single layer and dry them well.
- Chop the almonds, if using.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add about two Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to the skillet. Add the diced shallots and cook until they start to soften, just a couple minutes.
- Add the blanched, dried green beans to the shallots and olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the beans until they are soft, but still have some crispness, about five minutes.
- Add the Dijon mustard and honey. Turn the beans with tongs to coat.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add one Tablespoon of cold butter. Stir and turn the beans until they are coated with the butter and glossy.
- Transfer the beans from the large pan to a serving bowl and garnish with roughly chopped almonds. A little squeeze of lemon juice would also not be amiss.
- Enjoy your delightfully flavorful French-style green beans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are there so many kinds of green beans?
You may see a few different labels on the green beans at the store. Regular green beans that Americans are used to are usually just called green beans. Haricot verts may be called French green beans. French cut green beans in a can are just thinly sliced regular green beans. Walk away from the can.
Why do we add cold butter off the heat at the end of cooking?
This idea comes from a French technique called “mounting” a sauce. Cold butter is added to a sauce at the very end of cooking after the pan comes off the heat. Cold butter doesn’t want to separate as easily as warm butter, and it emulsifies into the sauce, creating a silky texture.
We’re applying this same technique to our green beans. The cold butter will coat the beans at the end of cooking without separating and getting greasy.
What if I don’t have a shallot?
Never fear! Just finely dice 1/2 of a medium yellow onion and 2 cloves of garlic. Proceed with the recipe as written, substituting the onion and garlic for the shallots.
Also Check Out These Vegetable Side Dishes…
Please Leave This Recipe A Rating!
I hope this easy and quick side dish brightens up many family dinners to come. They would be amazing alongside a roast chicken or any holiday or celebration meal.
Could you please leave a comment and a rating on this recipe after you make it? That helps me so much! Thank you!
French Green Beans With Shallots, Dijon, And Honey
- 1 chef's knife
- 1 cutting board
- 1 large pot
- 1 strainer
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 kitchen towel
- 1 large skillet
- 1 pair of tongs
- 1 serving dish optional
- 1 and 1/2 pounds fresh green beans either regular green beans or haricot verts.
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot finely diced
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 Tablespoon cold butter salted or unsalted
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds optional
Blanch The Green Beans
- Trim the ends off of the green beans and finely dice the shallot. Roughly chop the almonds. Set aside.
- Fill a large mixing bowl with cold water and ice. This is the ice bath.
- Bring enough water to cover the green beans by at least 3 or 4 inches to a rolling boil in a large pot over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add about 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt per quart of water.
- Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the beans from the boiling water and immediately plunge them into the ice bath. After the green beans are cold all the way through, remove them from the ice bath and dry them in a single layer with a clean kitchen towel. Set aside.
Sauté The Green Beans
- Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add two Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and the finely diced shallots and cook until they are soft, just a couple of minutes.
- Add the dried green beans to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the beans are soft, but still have some crispness to them, about 5 minutes.
- Add the Dijon mustard and honey. Use the tongs to turn and stir the green beans to coat.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the cold butter. Use the tongs to turn and toss the beans to coat again.
- Remove the green beans to your serving dish and top with the chopped almonds, if using. Enjoy!