1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
About 1 cup water
3/4 pound (12 ounces) haricots verts (French string beans)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and mellow, about 8 minutes.
Add the haricots verts, salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of the water and cook, stirring frequently, until the water evaporates, 4-5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of water and continue cooking until the beans are tender and the pan is completely dry, 5-6 minutes. Test the beans for doneness. If they need more cooking time, add a bit more water and cook until done; just be sure to cook off any remaining liquid in the pan before serving, otherwise the flavor will be diluted. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.