Brown-Butter Butter Beans With Lemon and Pesto

Ingredients

  • 6

    cups (drained) home-cooked, canned or jarred butter beans (about 2 1/4 pounds/1 kilogram)

  • 7

    tablespoons/105 milliliters olive oil

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

  • cup/30 grams roughly grated Parmesan

  • cup/15 grams packed roughly chopped parsley

  • 3

    scallions, trimmed and sliced

  • 2

    teaspoons finely grated lemon zest plus 1/3 cup/80 milliliters juice (from 3 lemons)

  • 1

    cup/225 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks)

  • 8

    garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 8

    oil-packed anchovies, drained and roughly chopped (about 2 packed tablespoons/30 grams)

  • 1

    teaspoon red-pepper flakes

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit/230 degrees Celsius. Dry the butter beans very well, then spread them out onto 2 large parchment-lined baking sheets (trays). Add 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and plenty of pepper to each baking sheet, toss gently to combine, then spread the beans in an even layer. Roast for 15 minutes, then carefully turn over the butter beans and return to the oven, swapping the positions of both baking sheets. Roast until nicely browned and crispy, another 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t worry if some of the butter beans are broken or split; this lends plenty of crisp texture.
  2. While the beans roast, make the pesto: Add the Parmesan, parsley, scallions, lemon zest, a good pinch of salt and a generous amount of pepper to a food processor, and pulse a few times to finely chop. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and blitz until combined. Transfer to a bowl, stir in 4 teaspoons lemon juice, and set aside.
  3. Add the butter to a large skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Once melted, cook for 4 to 5 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally, until beginning to brown and smell nutty. Add the garlic (it will bubble vigorously) and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the anchovies and cook for 30 to 60 seconds more, or until the garlic is very lightly golden. Stir in the red-pepper flakes, then remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining lemon juice.
  4. Using the parchment paper as a sling, transfer the roasted butter beans to a large platter or divide among plates. Pour the brown butter mixture on top. Dot with some of the pesto, and serve right away, passing the remaining pesto in a bowl alongside.