To accompany the Chicken Lombardy the other night, I wanted an easy, tasty side... something green with a mild vinaigrette flavor to go along yet not contrast with the wonderful sauce. I chose fresh green beans. But after starring at the trimmed beans, I thought they needed a little pick-me-up rather than the normal steam bath.
Giving a nutty flavor to the olive oil drizzle is the brown butter, also known as Beurre Noisette. And aiding to the vegetables is a flavor reminiscent of salad bars once in restaurants, popular back in the late '70's. Do you remember this dressing, especially over spinach? I thought it would be neat to bring it back, in another form. Enjoy.
Artichoke & Green Beans with Hot Bacon Vinaigrette
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed & cut into 1-inch pieces (French haritots verts would be good)
1 -9 oz package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed or 1 -14 oz can quartered
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced onion or 1 1/2 teaspoons onion flakes
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper or 1 tablespoon dried
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2-3 tablespoons chopped bacon (real bacon bits will be fine)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (Parmesan or other hard cheese will do)
Blanch the green beans in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and plunge in ice water to stop the cooking. Drain well.
Spread the green beans in a 2-quart oblong casserole dish. Spread the drained artichoke hearts on top.
In a small saucepan over low heat, brown the butter by swirling it until the milk solids turn light brown. Remove from heat and stir in the onions and red peppers. Toss and let cool slightly.
Add the vinegar, lemon juice and bacon bits to the butter. Quickly whisk in the olive oil and drizzle over the artichokes and green beans. Scatter the bacon, onion and peppers on top.
Allow to set for an hour or about 15 minutes before serving.
Top with a thin layer of freshly cheese and place in a 425 degree F. oven to heat and toast the cheese, about 10 minutes.