Blanching the beans ahead of time makes last minute preparations easy in this pretty and delicious side dish.
2 lb green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
4 tbsp butter, cut in pieces
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped
salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Plunge them into ice water to stop cooking and to preserve bright green colour. Drain well, and pat dry with paper towels. Wrap in paper towels and reserve until the last minute. (This step can be done up to a day in advance)
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and pecans. Cook, stirring, until the butter turns a light brown colour, and begins to smell nutty. Add the beans and toss to coat. Cook until the beans are warmed through, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.