Though I love nearly everything about my new blog design, there is one tiny problem: the new “Search by Category” function makes it impossible to hide that my dessert/pie/cake/cookie etc. offerings outnumber my vegetable/side dish offerings by a margin of nearly 10 to 1.
I’m on a mission to even out the ratio a bit. Really, I like vegetables. (Though, to be honest, I like Salted Alfajores Bars better.)
Let’s start with these green beans (or haricot verts, as the French would say), inspired by one of my favorite DC restaurants: Le Diplomate. This bustling French bistro is nearly perfect in every way… warm, attentive service and spot-on delicious food. It’s one of our go-to special occasion destinations.
I have only ordered one entrée during my four visits. That would be the Trout Amandine with Haricots Verts, Lemon Brown Butter, and Toasted Almonds. I have sampled bites of other magnificent entrees from the plates of those surrounding me, but have yet to find an entrée I prefer to the trout. (Be warned, if you have an aversion to sharing your dinner, sit as far away from me as possible while dining out). The nutty, lemony, brown-buttered haricot verts are a huge part of this trout-ordering rut.
While wandering through the market the other day, I happened upon lovely slim green beans, and thought to myself: I need to bring these beans home and give them the full Le Diplomate treatment. (I didn’t even bother with the trout. No one but me likes to eat fish at House Morell.)
Let me assure you, the lemony brown butter and toasted almonds are divine… I suspect there has never been a happier side platter of green beans. Ever.
If you’d like to go a bit lighter, you COULD use less butter and fewer almonds…but really, why? I said I was seeking balance, not necessarily health.
One year ago: Tiny Alfajores
- One pound green beans or haricots verts
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¾ cup sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 400. Place the almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and toast until golden brown - in my oven, this was about 8 minutes, but be sure to watch it carefully, so they don't burn. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Cook beans in a heavy saucepan of boiling water seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes, then drain.
- Brown the butter: In a small pot, melt one stick of butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pot as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot: You may be impatient for it to start browning, but the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point it burns is often less than a minute. (Thanks, Deb, for the instructions from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook) Whisk in the lemon juice.
- Toss the green beans with the brown butter, and place on a serving platter. Arrange the toasted almonds on top, and serve.