Corn and Beans: A Synergistic Summer Side

Corn and green beans. Photo by Keri White

We recently were given a bag of string beans that a neighbor picked from his garden. It was a lovely gift, and we planned to cook them immediately to optimize their freshness.

That night, we ended up with an unexpected guest for dinner, and the string beans were really portioned for two, not three. I peered into the fridge for inspiration on how to stretch our ingredients and pulled out two leftover ears of corn that we had grilled for a previous dinner. Eureka!

I used browned butter with the garlic, which delivers a rich, nutty flavor, but if you are looking for a pareve or vegan dish, any type of cooking oil or butter substitute can be used here. No need to brown the oil, but do brown the garlic in the warm oil for optimal results. And if you don’t have cooked corn, any other vegetable would work — either leftover or newly cooked — swap sautéed onions, blanched carrots, roasted potatoes … the possibilities are nearly endless.

Brown Butter Corn and Beans
Serves 2-4 depending on portions

A note on the corn: Ours was already cooked and that worked just fine, but if yours is raw just check it for desired doneness — summer sweet corn is so tasty, even raw, that you can’t really mess it up.

2 cups fresh string beans, tough stems removed
Kernels cut from 2 ears corn
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, crushed

Blanch the beans: Immerse them in boiling water for 30-60 seconds, and drain them. Rinse them with cold water to stop cooking. This can be done several hours ahead, if desired.

When ready to cook, heat the butter in a skillet over medium/low and allow it to melt and begin to brown; it will emit a nutty aroma and some solids will begin to form in the skillet.

Add the garlic and toast it, allowing it to turn golden without burning.

Add the salt, pepper, beans and corn, and sauté them to your desired doneness, anywhere from 5-10 minutes.


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