green bean salad with brown butter
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I’m usually so focused on how to start a meal and what protein to use in the main, I forget all about that vital side dish! Even the term “side” just seems to edge it out of my mind. But it’s a supportive role, right? And people get Oscars for that! So, if you indulge my logic here, side dishes should get a chance to stand on stage like everybody else and thank their parents and hear the music that is trying to nudge them back off the stage, gracefully. I mean, those awards are given attention! They’re not, for example, presented on another day or at the very beginning of the ceremony when lots of people haven’t sat down to watch yet. Yes, I think I’ve made my point here…
So then! Today’s award for food in a supporting role goes to… Green Bean Salad! *applause*applause*
So we start with some beans. Lovely, lovely beans.
Heat your olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add your beans and toss them around for a few minutes. Once they are starting to caramelize we just want to finish cooking them quickly. So grab ¼ cup of water and add to the pan and cover with a lid or some aluminum foil. Allow them to steam for just a couple minutes. They should be a vibrant green and tender but with a little crunch to them. Drain the water and set aside.
Now for the brown butter. Yummy yummy brown butter. Heat up a saucepan or other vessel over medium heat and add your butter. It will start bubbling marvelously! Cook it until, well, brown! *A note to the wise, keep your eye on it, cause 1 tbs of butter browns pretty darn fast! Why do I think to mention that? Well, um, you may have noticed that the final product looked like less beans than I indicate in the recipe..? Yeah, see I was so engrossed in snacking on the beans that I kind of let my brown butter turn into burnt butter. Lesson learned.
OK so once your butter is browned (second batch worked like a charm!) take it off the heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine beans, cherry tomatoes (sliced in half) and almond slivers. Season with sea salt and a bit of lemon juice to taste. Give it a good toss to distribute the seasoning. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle the brown butter all over. Gorgeous! It’s entirely possible that you will be left with extra brown butter. Don’t feel that you need to use it all on the beans. Or do. You know, whatever. I’m not here to judge!
*more applause*more applause*
Insert Academy Award exit music…