Haricot verts with mushrooms and caramelized onions are a crunchy and delicious side dish. Savory portabella mushrooms & pearl onions pack extra flavor!
I’m in need of some fresh vegetables in my life, because yes I’m still recovering from the holiday feasts. Have you met the string beans french cousin haricot verts? Kinda like the new hot foreign exchange student in high school, these long, slender and crisp beauties are a little sleeker and sexy than your typical bean. These haricot verts with mushrooms and caramelized onions will steal the dinnertime show!
There is no better savory combo than onions and mushrooms, for reals. The magic to the dish is slowly allowing the baby pearl onions to caramelize in the pan over low heat. This enables the deep sweet flavors to be teased out of the onions.
I use thin slices of baby portabella mushrooms (or hearty brown mushrooms) because they have better flavor than white button mushrooms, just my opinion. Mushrooms seem to have this innate deep salty flavor once cooked that adds so much richness to any dish, can you tell I’m a fungi fan? Super nerd, ha!.
To finish off the vegetables, I quickly blanch the haricot verts in salted super rapid boiling water for a quick 3 to 4 minutes, or less, testing to see if they have a nice crunch each minute. I then immediately plunge the beans in ice cold water to stop the cooking process and keep them bright green.
Once all of the beans, umami mushrooms, and sweet caramelized onions are combined with fresh chopped thyme, garlicky shallots and sprinkled with salt and pepper, it’s ready to chow down.
So fresh, healthy and satisfying! I like to serve this green bean dish as a side with my herb brined roasted chicken recipe with some whipped mashed potatoes, yummy! If you have started an insatiable green bean craving, give my citrus green beans with almonds recipe a try!
What is the trick to caramelizing the pearl onions?
First off, the real question is why should caramelize onions? It’s because when it’s done right, they bring a sweet, umami (savory) punch to any dish and make it 10x better! It requires a little extra time and patience (at least 30 minutes), but well worth the wait. Add a thin layer of oil (butter burns too quick) over medium-low heat; the onions will burn on high heat so turn it down if they are browning too quickly. You want to have a single layer of onions (cut side down first) in the pan, so it does not steam, the goal is to get the moisture to evaporate and the pan just hot enough to turn those sugars in the onions to caramelize into brown pigments and flavor. Let them slowly cook, trying not to stir too often, so they get maximum contact with the pan surface to coax out those flavors. The onions should be rich brown, very soft, yet not mushy and have a delicately sweet taste.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 8 ounces pearl onions , peeled (halved if large), 2 cups
- 12 ounces haricot verts , (French green beans)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , clarified butter or ghee, divided
- 4 ounces portabella mushrooms , or brown, 1/4-inch slices
- 1/4 cup shallots , minced
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves , chopped fresh
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt , or sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper , freshly ground
- 2 tablespoons vegetable broth , or chicken broth
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, without moving, until golden brown (reduce heat to medium-low if they get too dark too fast). Carefully turn onions over and let cook until deep golden on both sides and softened inside, about 30 minutes total. Set aside.
- Fill a large bowl with ice water, set aside. Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook beans until bright green and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and add to ice water, cool for at least 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
- Heat remaining 1-tablespoon olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; reduce heat to medium and cook, occasionally stirring, until mushrooms release all their liquid and start to brown, about 6 minutes.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. When the butter has melted and begins to sizzle, add shallots, thyme, salt, pepper, and reserved caramelized onions. Cook, stirring gently until shallots have softened. Add broth and bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes until the stock is reduced and absorbed into the mixture.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add beans and rewarm about 5 minutes. Transfer warmed beans to a large platter or bowl. Pour mushroom mixture over center of beans and serve immediately.