Another oat dish. But a savory one–and poor oats, how often do they get a savory treatment? You could obviously use any grain you like–I got the idea for this salad at a potluck, where it had farro and no brown butter–but I sort of like the idea of giving oats a home that you would usually reserve for some fancy heritage grain. Also it means you could eat this for breakfast with a fried egg on top. Or for lunch with a fried egg. Anything for a fried egg.

But if you’re not obsessed with obnoxiously runny-yolked eggs, this would be great as a side to grilled veggies or protein, or some seared salmon, or whatever. And it’s also a really painless way to eat chard, notably not one of my favorite vegetables. I guess brown butter has that effect.

Because the chard and dill are pretty flavorful, the dressing is low key. A little bit of lemon and mustard, some toasty fat and salt. That’s all. I think a handful of chopped celery would be nice, as would a sliced avocado on top.

Chard and Oat Salad with Brown Butter Vinaigrette
serves 4-5 as a modest side dish

1/2 C whole oats
1 bunch of chard
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 t olive oil
1 small bunch of dill, washed and chopped
1 t lemon juice
1/2 t dijon mustard
3 T butter
1/4 t kosher salt
fresh pepper to taste

Bring a quart of water to a boil. Add a couple big pinches of kosher salt and the oats. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover with the lid ajar. Cook the oats for 18 minutes, or until tender but a little chewy. Drain and put in a mixing bowl.

In a medium skillet, heat the teaspoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and a little salt and stir. Cook the onions until they’re translucent. Meanwhile, slice the chard into 1 inch strips and wash in a big bowl of water. Once the onions are soft, add the wet chard and a little more salt. Toss with tongs. The chard will wilt and release its water; keep cooking until the pan is almost dry. Dump the chard and onions into the oats.

In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat (it helps if the skillet isn’t dark colored so that you can actually see how the butter is browning). The butter will foam, and then the foam will subside–at this point start keeping an eye on the butter. You want it to be golden brown. At that point, take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in the cooled butter, then add the dressing and dill to the salad. Toss and serve warm.

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