Glazing is an excellent technique for bringing out the flavor of firm root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and pearl onions. Here sweet glazed pearl onions are paired with haricot verts – thin and tender french green beans – for a fresh, light alternative to green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. It’s so quick and easy, it makes a good side dish for any day of the week too.
INGREDIENTS, serves 4-6 as a side:
1/2 lb. haricot verts, trimmed (a.k.a. french green beans)
6 oz. peeled pearl onions
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. sugar
1. Blanch the haricot verts: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously then add the haricot verts. Cook on high heat until the beans turn bright green and are tender. Remove and plunge immediately into ice water or strain under cold running water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
2. To Glaze Pearl Onions: Place the onions in a shallow saucepan. Add just enough water to come halfway way up the onions. Add a large pinch of salt and the butter and sugar. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to medium-high heat. Cut out a round of parchment paper to fit just inside the saucepan, and cut a small hole int he center. Cover the onions with the parchment lid, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the onions are tender. Remove the parchment and continue to cook the onions, shaking the pan intermittently so that they brown evenly.
3. Add the haricots verts to the onions, with a tablespoon or two of water to deglaze the caramelized sugar from the pan and just warm the beans through. Serve immediately.