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1 1/2 pounds trimmed green beans, cut to 2 to 3 inch long pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (or shallots)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Place the chopped onions in a small bowl of water. This will help take the edge off the onions. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.
2 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (2 Tbsp salt for 2 quarts of water). Add the green beans to the water and blanch only for about 2 minutes or so, until the beans are just barely cooked through, but still crisp. Fresh young beans should cook quickly. Older, tougher beans may take longer. While the beans are cooking, prepare a large bowl of ice water. When the beans are ready, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the boiling water to the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the green beans and the red onions.
3 Place the green beans, red onion, and chopped basil in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the olive oil, toss to coat. Sprinkle in the balsamic and Parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Chill until ready to serve.