Summer Side Dish: Potatoes, Green Beans, and Corn in Lemon Brown Butter Sauce

This recipe is the result of farmers market gluttony. The tiny red potatoes were just too good to pass up. Then the green beans somehow ended up in our bag as well. And saying no to sweet corn was really out of the question. What to do but toss everything with brown butter and serve it for dinner?
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As the summer continues, we’ll probably add zucchini and yellow squash to the mix, and eventually cauliflower. Earlier in the season, we had garden peas and ramps. Whatever is fresh, looks good, and would go well with the nutty taste of brown butter - which is to say, pretty much everything!

We also didn’t buy exact quantities when we picked up these veggies at the market, so the measurements below are approximate. Feel free to adjust based on what’s available and your personal preferences.

Potatoes, Beans, and Corn in Lemon Brown Butter Sauce
Serves 4-6 as a side dish

1 pound waxy red potatoes, cleaned and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 pound green beans, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into bite-sized pieces
3 ears sweet corn
1 onion, frenched into thin slices
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1-2 tablespoons juice from 1/2 lemon
4 ounces feta or goat cheese, optional
salt and pepper

Put the potatoes in a medium-sized pot with one tablespoon of salt and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are soft. Scoop the potatoes out with a slotted spoon and into a serving bowl.

Bring the water back to a boil (adding more water if necessary) and blanch the beans for 3-5 minutes, until they are bright green and softened but still have some bite to them. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the potatoes.

Cook the corn following your preferred method. We like using the microwave method for this recipe because then we can multi-task!

While the potatoes and beans are cooking, heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onions until they are soft and beginning to caramelize. If you have the time and patience, continue slowly cooking the onions until they are fully caramelized - this is fantastic! Transfer the cooked onions into the bowl with the potatoes and beans.

With the skillet back over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook it, swirling the butter occasionally in the pan, until the butter darkens and begins to smell nutty. Remove from heat and whisk in the lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. The lemon juice will make the butter sizzle up and sputter before cooling down.

Drizzle the lemon-brown butter sauce over the vegetables and toss to combine. Sprinkle with cheese, if using, and add salt and pepper to taste. This side dish can be served warm, room temperature, or cold from the fridge. It will keep for one week refrigerated.

Related: 10 Takes on Potato Salad

(Images: Emma Christensen)

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