When trying to eat lighter, adding more vegetables is a great start. However, it can be hard to find various ways to keep veggies interesting. This is where the concept of amandine can be your secret weapon!
The term amandine refers simply to garnishing with almonds. In many cases, the almonds are pan-fried in a little bit of butter, lending incredible flavor to everything to which they are added. Once you’ve learned this little trick, you’ll find yourself amandine-ing just about everything!
I first learned this technique from Chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Simple. And he is correct; this embellishment is pretty simple, especially compared to the powerful punch of flavor it adds to any dish.
TIP: I heartily recommend doubling the recipe for the pan-fried almonds with dill just to make sure you have extra. They make an incredible addition to so many different dishes: seafood, veggies, even just eating straight out of the pan! I almost always have a small bag in my pantry, ready for me to make anything amandine whenever I please!
Asparagus Amandine with Dill and Capers
(Original recipe: Yotam Ottolenghi)
1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed
3 TBSP olive oil, divided
2 TBSP butter
1/4 C sliced almonds
3 TBSP capers, patted dry on paper towels
1/3 C roughly chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425F.
In a large bowl, toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon oil, a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Arrange asparagus on a baking sheet and roast 8-12 minutes, or until asparagus is soft and starting to brown in places. Remove from oven and set aside in the pan.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until foamy. Add almonds and fry, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 1-2 minutes (reduce heat as needed to prevent scorching). Pour almonds and butter evenly over asparagus.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the capers and fry, stirring continuously, until they have opened up and become crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, remove capers from the oil and sprinkle over the asparagus. Add dill. Toss gently to combine.
Stay tuned; tomorrow, we’ll be showing you how to amandine seafood to serve alongside your asparagus. YUM!