This is an excellent side dish that showcases spring peas and asparagus. I added some edamame too for added dimension of texture and flavor. Serve as a side dish for brunch, or as I did, at dinner with grilled lamb chops, malbec-fig reduction and Parmesan polenta.
Spring Vegetable Sauté
1 bunch asparagus
1 1/2 cup fresh, shelled peas (you can use frozen, too)
1 1/2 cup fresh, shelled edamame (you can use frozen here, too)
6T good quality butter (I like European butters, like Plugra, Lurpak or Kerrygold)
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1/4 cup buttermilk
about 1/8 cup mint leaves, torn into small pieces
about 1/8 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1. Put a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add enough kosher salt so that it tastes like the ocean. Sometimes, this takes cups of salt – fear not!
2. Clean your asparagus. To do this, snap off the bottom of the stalk, and discard (or save for flavoring vegetable stock, or making asparagus soup.) Then, use a vegetable peeler to peel the bottom half of the remaining stalk. Don’t go all the way up to where the flower starts, just get the tough fibrous peel off. Then, cut your spears into 1″ lengths, on the bias.
2. Set up an ice bath. Fill a large bowl with ice and add water.
3. Blanch your asparagus. When the water is at a full rolling boil, drop the asparagus pieces into the pot and wait until they just turn bright green, about 25 seconds. Scoop them out and drop them in the ice bath. This is easiest if you have some kind of basket or metal colander to lower into the pot of water. Otherwise, use a slotted spoon to fish out the veg.
4. Repeat step 3 with the peas.
5. Repeat step 3 with the edamame. You don’t want to blanch all the veg together, because they may need different amounts of time.
6. Drain the vegetables and set aside.
7. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, melt the butter over low heat. When the butter fat solids just start to turn brown and smell a little nutty, throw in your shallots and cook until just soft, about 2 minutes.
8. Add all the vegetables, toss or stir to coat with the butter mixture and when everything starts to steam, add the buttermilk. Turn up the heat to medium and cook until the liquid evaporates.
9. Remove from the heat, taste and add salt if you need it. Toss in the mint and parsley and stir to evenly distribute. Serve hot.