Joni Sare, cooking instructor

Green beans w/caramelized onions and shallots

Green beans, filet beans, haricot verts
Served at a Dialog Dinner, June 30, 2010.

Serves 12.

Time: 10-15 minutes to trim the beans and chop the onions, one to two hours to saute the onions, 10-15 minutes to cook the beans.


Green beans have a hard time absorbing flavors b/c of its tight waxy skin, so, the trick is to soak them in a salt bath in order to get the tight cellulose walls to open up, which will allow flavors to be absorbed. Here’s the best way to cook green beans …


1. Wash the beans and remove the stems. Remove the tails only if they are wilting and/or are turning dark/black.

2. Soak the beans in enough water to cover. Add 2 tsp sea salt to the water and stir well, let sit for at least one hour, then drain the salt water. FYI – I would use the salt water in the future – for soaking the zucchinis, or soaking kale or other dark green leafy vegetable, or use the water in a soup. Alternatively, blanch the green beans for 3 minutes in a pot with 4-6 cups boiling water.


  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 yellow onions, cut into thin half-moon slices
  • 1 cup minced shallots (about 2 large shallots
  • 80 green beans, salted (I estimated 5 beans per person, 5 x 15 people is 75 beans)
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground is best
  • 1 tbs coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup date water, from 3 dates soaking in 1/2 cup of water for at least an hour (see note, below)


1. In large frying pan, or wok, heat the coconut oil and add the onions, saute on medium to low heat for an hour or two, stir often (I like to cook them for quite a while b/c it caramelizes the onions).

2. Add the shallots, green beans and black pepper and cook on medium heat until the beans are just about done, about 10 minutes, toss often.

3. Just 2  minutes before serving, add the coriander seeds into the oil (I pushed aside the beans and onions in order to get the seeds right to the oil), cook for 2 minutes to allow the seeds to infuse the oil, stir well.

4. Add the date water and cover, cook for a few minutes until the beans are tender, see note, below.

NOTE: I added the date water mainly b/c I wanted the beans to cook faster. The Chicken and Squash dishes were done and I thought the best thing to do is put a lid on the beans to steam them, so I needed a liquid. I looked around and saw the soaking dates, which were meant for the squash, yet, I thought the squash already is sweet enough, and the sweetness of the date water would be a great combination with the beans, onion and coriander. (The 3 soaked dates found their way into my oatmeal breakfast this morning, yummmm.)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Scroll to Top