FRENCH BEANS WITH TARRAGON (for four)
1 pound French beans, washed and drained, ends snapped off
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to tastes
tarragon sprigs for garnish
- Drop the beans into rapidly boiling, salted water. Cover briefly, to bring the water quickly back to a boil, then immediately remove the cover. Boil uncovered until the beans are just cooked through but retain a slight crunch of texture –4 to 5 minutes. Test by eating several. Drain the beans immediately when they are done and run them under cold water or plunge into a basin filled with ice cubes and water. Drain again and pat dry with paper towels.
- Melt butter in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring constantly, until soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add beans and cook, stirring, until just heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in tarragon and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with tarragon sprigs.