Mixed Spring Vegetables
3/4 lb. (about 30)
baby carrots, trimmed and peeled
3/4 lb. (about 24) baby turnips, trimmed, or 1 pound turnips, peeled
and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 lbs. haricots verts (thin green beans), trimmed
3/4 lb. (about 30) baby pattypan squash, trimmed
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 T. minced fresh chives, or to taste
In a steamer set over
boiling water steam the carrots and the turnips, covered, for 5 to 7
minutes, or until they are just tender, and transfer them to a large
In the steamer steam the haricots verts, covered, for 3 to 4
minutes, or until they are just tender, and transfer them to the
In the steamer steam the squash, covered, for 3 minutes, or until
they are just tender, and transfer them to the bowl.
In a large skillet melt the butter over moderate heat, add the
vegetables, the chives, and salt and pepper to taste, and cook the
vegetables, stirring, until they are combined well and heated
Rice Salad (Insalata di Riso)
- 1 cup Arborio
- 1/2 pound
- 1 cup shelled
English peas, from about 1 pound fresh peas
- 2 pounds fresh
- 2 tablespoons
plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Sea salt,
preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup
extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup thinly
sliced basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons
chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon
grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup small
diced boiled ham
- 1/4 cup freshly
grated Pecorino Romano
Bring a large pot of salted water to
a boil. Add rice, stir, and adjust heat to maintain a simmer. Cook,
stirring occasionally to prevent any grains from sticking to the
pot, until the rice is just barely done, about 15 minutes. It will
continue to cook as it cools. Drain the rice well and spread it out
on a tray to cool quickly.
Bring another large pot of salted
water to a boil. Holding an asparagus spear in both hands, bend the
spear until it breaks naturally at the point where it becomes tough.
Repeat with the remaining spears. Discard the tough ends and cut the
tender part into 1/3-inch lengths. Blanch asparagus and peas
together in the boiling water for 1 minute and 30 seconds, then lift
out with a strainer and transfer to a paper towel lined baking sheet
Shell the fava beans, then blanch the
unpeeled beans in the same boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain,
transfer them to a paper towel lined baking sheet to cool. Peel the
fava beans by pinching open the loose skin; the peeled bean should
slip out easily.
Put the lemon juice in a small bowl.
Season with salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled
rice, asparagus, peas, fava beans, basil, parsley, lemon zest, ham
and cheese. Toss with your hands to blend. Pour the dressing over
the salad (you may not need it all) and toss gently. Taste and
Note: You can blanch everything
ahead, but don't dress until just before serving.
Spring Pea and Asparagus Pasta Primavera
Makes 4 Portions of Spring Pea and Asparagus Pasta Primavera
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
8 oz dry pasta (tagliatelle, fettuccini, or linguini are recommended)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 bunch asparagus, cut in 2-inch slices
1 cup shelled green peas (may substitute frozen, thawed)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to directions. While the pasta is cooking prepare the sauce as follows.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat, and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, being very careful not to brown. Add the stock, cream, lemon zest and turn heat up to high. When it begins to boil, add the vegetables and cook until the asparagus is tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat.
Drain the pasta (do not rise), and add back to the pot. Pour in the sauce and mix to coat the pasta. Add the lemon juice, basil, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Toss again and serve immediately.
Spring-to-Summer Vegetable Ragout
This super-quick late-spring or early-summer vegetable ragout (or, if you're feeling less fancy: stew) is itself extremely light. Serve it on steaming polenta to turn it into a satisfying main dish. The key to this ragout is to use very tiny carrot and zucchini. Ideally, you would only need to quarter them lengthwise to get "bite-size" pieces. Larger specimens will work just fine, but the ragout will have a less refined air and it will involve a bit more prep work as you cut the vegetable to the right size.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
8 oz. English or garden peas
4 oz. very small carrot (about 3 inches long each)
4 oz. very small zucchini (about 4 inches long each)
3 green onions
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt plus more to taste
1 Tbsp. each chopped fresh mint and thyme
Shell peas and set aside. Cut carrots and zucchini into quarters lengthwise and set aside. Cut green onions into 2-inch lengths, quarter lenthwise and set aside. Slice garlic as thinly as possible.
In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat cook garlic in olive oil until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots, green onions, salt, and 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook until onions soften, about 3 minutes.
Add zucchini, cover, and cook until it softens, about 3 minutes. Add peas, cover, and cook until everything is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in mint and thyme. Serve hot or warm, over polenta, if you like.
Makes 4 servings.