String Beans with Crispy Proscuitto & Shallots are a garden-fresh summertime favorite that complement any meal.
Nothing sets off the flavor of crisp, garden-fresh string beans like cured meat. When I was a kid, my mother’s go-to side dish for every occasion was green beans with crispy bacon. It was always my favorite, and it accompanied everything from Easter Sunday dinner to a simple weeknight meal. I suppose that is why I felt excited and a little nostalgic when I tasted these String Beans with Crispy Proscuitto and Shallots that Keith cooked up the other day.
My mother’s dish was just a bit different from Keith’s modern version. She always used canned green beans (out of convenience), while Keith selected some beautiful, multi-colored string beans fresh from the farmers’ market. My mom used bacon, cut into small pieces and fried, while Keith opted for a smoky proscuitto, accompanied by shallots and a bit of fresh garlic.
This dish is simple, delicious, and screams summertime. The beans really are the highlight, and they are at their peak right now. Visually, the combination of green string beans, yellow wax beans, and purple string beans (which unfortunately turn green when you cook them) is very appealing. I couldn’t stop arranging them, rearranging them, and photographing them. Most of all, the classic flavor combination is what makes this dish a new favorite of mine. It just reminds me of home: the one I grew up in and the one that Keith and I are building together now. There is nothing better than that.
- 8 oz fresh string bean
- 2 oz slice prosciutto
- 1 small shallot
- 1 clove fresh garlic
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- cracked black pepper
- Bring 2 quarts water to boil and blanch beans for 3-4 minutes
- Drain and run cold water over beans for 1 minute.
- In a large saute pan, add oil and butter and heat over medium high until butter is melted.
- Add garlic clove (whole) to pan
- Take thin slices of prosciutto and julienne into thin pieces.
- Peel and slice shallot as thin as possible.
- When butter has melted, sprinkle shallots and prosciutto into pan and cook until crispy, mixing constantly (about 1 minute). Remove and place on paper towel to soak up grease.
- Add green beans to saute pan and cook for approx. 3 -5 minutes depending on desired tenderness.
- Remove beans and place on serving plate and sprinkle with crispy toppings.