You don’t need fancy schmancy exotic vegetables or spices to make amazing food.  You just need to use what you have in the best way possible.  This salad is a good example of that.  Fresh seasonal veggies and a simple vinaigrette aren’t anything out of the ordinary and you probably have most of the ingredients in your house right now.  But when you blanch the veggies it makes them even more crisp and flavorful.  And then tossing them in a brown butter vinaigrette, that’s some good stuff folks!  Simple and fresh ingredients, prepared the right way, lead to wonderful results.

If you’ve never made brown butter, you should, it’s pretty amazing.  It starts as just regular old butter, nothin’ crazy.  But when you heat it in a pan, swirl it around a bit, and let it start to darken, oh wow.  That boring old stick of butter turns into a flavor explosion.  Besides the color darkening, you know the butter it reaching the point of perfection when a nutty aroma starts to fill the air.  If you can’t smell that, you haven’t browned it enough.  But be careful, it goes form perfect to burnt pretty fast.  Next time you make banana bread, brown the butter instead of using a stick at room temperature.  Toss plain pasta noodles some brown butter and top it with fresh grated parmesan cheese.  Holy smokes, you’ll die.  It’s incredibly simple and divine.

Another thing I love about this salad is it can be made in advance and sit at room temperature.  Which makes it perfect for summer parties and BBQ’s.

Notes:

The dressing may solidify a little when you toss it with the blanched veggies.  I just warmed it up for a few seconds in the microwave to turn the butter back into liquid.  It didn’t really warm the veggies, just liquified the butter again.

Use the leftover dressing on any other salad, it’s just too good to waste.

Try this salad with any veggies that are in season.  The first ones that come to mind are green beans, those would be excellent in here too!

 

Spring Salad with Brown Butter Vinaigrette

Spring Salad with Brown Butter Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1 bunch asparagus (anywhere from 1/2-1 lb)
  • Brown Butter Vinaigrette:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Blanching the vegetables:

Heat a large pot of water on the stove.

In a large bowl, add ice cubes and water. This is the ice bath to shock the veggies after you quickly boil them. Put a strainer over the bowl to easily remove the veggies when they’re done. Dump the frozen peas into the strainer in the ice bath.

Snap the ends off the snap peas. Discard the ends and set the pea pods aside.

Trim the ends off the asparagus and cut the asparagus into 1-2 inch long pieces. If your asparagus are super thick, slice them in half lengthwise.

Add the snap peas and asparagus to the pot of boiling water. Boil for 30 seconds. Scoop out of the boiling pot and immediately dump them into the strainer in the ice bath. Allow them to cool in there for a few minutes.

Scoop the veggies out, pat them dry, toss with the vinaigrette.

Use as much or as little dressing as you want. You won’t use the entire batch.

Brown Butter Vinaigrette:

Brown the butter over medium-low heat until foaming slows down and the color is brown and you can smell a nutty aroma. It takes about 5-7 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and pour into a small mixing bowl, let cool slightly.

Add the olive oil and whisk well. Then add the vinegar and honey; mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Store the dressing at room temperature for a couple of days. It can be stored in the fridge for longer, just heat it up slightly before using since the butter solidifies when it’s chilled.

http://www.fatgirltrappedinaskinnybody.com/2013/05/spring-salad-brown-butter-vinaigrette/

 

Brown Butter Vinaigrette adapted from Smith Bites