Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Browned Butter Brings Out the Best of the Blues

This is inspired by a green bean dish in Fine Cooking magazine, and would certainly adapt well to many other hearty green vegetables such as broccoli or brussels sprouts. The addition of colorful blue potatoes (or raddichio? or purple cabbage?) make it truly a visual delight, and are tasty too! It's always astounding what a layer of delicious complexity a simple step like browning the butter will do for the elegance-factor and flavor of a dish.

Brown-Butter Asparagus with Pine Nuts
serves 4
1 pound aspagarus (the thicker ones work better for this, if available), snapped at base and cut cross-wise into thirds
1/2 pound blue fingerling potatoes, the smallest you can find, cut into bite-sized wedges
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup pine nuts, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Steam the asparagus and boil the potatoes until your desired tenderness (about 8 minutes, and if you have the right-sized pot, you can probably steam the asparagus over the same water that the potatoes are boiling in!)

Drain water, and add butter, salt, and nuts to empty pot. Cook over medium until butter is browned and nuts are toasted, 3-5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in vegetables. Toss with lemon juice and and parsley and serve warm.

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