Top Ten Spring Vegetable Sides

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1 Top Ten Spring Vegetable Sides F resh garden peas, fava beans, morels the short growing season for these delicate spring vegetables makes us crave them all the more. Even the ever-present asparagus and artichokes taste incomparably sweet at the height of spring. Turn your dinner into a celebration of the season with one or more of these Fine Cooking favorites. You can eat these asparagus with your fingers, dragging the spears through the mayon naise. The tarragon mayonnaise is delicious with boiled asparagus, too. 1 large egg yolk*, at room temperature 1 2 cup plus 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp. minced shallot 2 tsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 tsp. minced fresh tarragon 11 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice; more to taste 1 2 tsp. kosher salt; more as needed 11 2 lb. asparagus, trimmed Make the mayonnaise: Put the egg yolk in a small bowl. Add a few drops of lukewarm water and whisk well. Begin adding the 1 2 cup olive oil in a very thin stream, whisking constantly. When the sauce thickens and forms a creamy emulsion, you can add the oil a little faster. Whisk in the shallot, parsley, tarragon, and lemon juice. Season with the salt, adding more to taste. If needed, whisk in a few drops of water to loosen the mayonnaise until it s spoonable, not stiff. Prepare the asparagus: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and blanch for 1 minute for small spears, or 11 2 minutes for medium spears. Transfer the asparagus with tongs to a bowl of ice water. When cool, lift the spears out of the ice water and thoroughly pat dry. Prepare a hot charcoal fire or gas grill. Put the spears on a rimmed baking sheet or platter. Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil, season with a generous pinch of salt, and toss with your hands to coat the spears evenly. Position the grill grate as close to the coals or heat source as possible. Heat the grate and then arrange the asparagus on the grate directly over the heat with all the tips pointing in the same direction. Be sure to arrange the asparagus perpendicular to the bars so the spears don t fall through. Grill, turning the spears once with tongs, until they re blistered and lightly charred in spots, about 3 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately, passing the mayonnaise separately. Janet Fletcher, Fine Cooking #64 * Note: The egg yolk in this recipe is raw, so if you re cooking for small children, the elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system, use a pasteurized egg product instead The Taunton Press, Inc. Copying and/or distribution of this article is not permitted. Photos except where noted: Scott Phillips Grilled Asparagus with Fresh Tarragon Mayonnaise Serves four; yields about 2 3 cup mayonnaise.

2 Fettuccine Primavera Serves eight as a side dish or six as a main course. This quintessential springtime pasta includes lots and lots of fresh herbs, as well as leafy greens. The specific vegetables and herbs used are up to you; choose what looks best at the market. Slow-Sautéed Artichokes with Lemon Juice & Thyme Serves four. 4 large globe artichokes 2 lemon halves to prepare the artichokes, plus 11 2 to 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 3 Tbs. olive oil, preferably fruity and full flavored Salt and freshly ground black pepper 11 2 tsp. very lightly chopped fresh thyme leaves Trim the artichoke stems flush with the bottoms. Snap back the leaves one at a time; they ll break about a quarter of the way from the base. About two-thirds of the way in, where the leaves become yellowish and form a cone, cut the cone off with a sharp knife. Scrape out and discard the purple-tipped leaves in the center and the prickly choke beneath them. Moisten the scraped flesh with a lemon half to prevent browning. With a paring knife, trim off the fibrous dark green layer around and under the bottom to reveal a tender palegreen layer. Rub the outside with lemon. Cut the artichoke bottoms in quarters. Put the artichoke bottoms in a large bowl. Drizzle all over with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set a heavy 8-inch skillet over low heat, and when hot, add the artichokes (they should just cover the bottom of the skillet), scraping out all the oil from the bowl into the skillet with a rubber spatula. Cover the skillet and cook, stirring once or twice, until the artichokes are a little less than halfway done, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the cover and continue cooking at a low sizzle, turning occasionally, until they re lightly browned and tender-firm (I use a wooden skewer to check), another 8 to 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and thyme and toss together until the pan juices have thickened to coat the artichokes nicely. Taste and season with more salt and pepper and olive oil, if you like. Leslie Revsin, Fine Cooking #44 1 lb. dried fettuccine 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into chunks 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 cups very thinly sliced mixed spring vegetables, such as asparagus (leave tips whole), baby carrots, baby leeks, baby turnips, baby zucchini, spring onions, and sugar snap peas 1 cup whole, shelled fresh or thawed frozen peas, baby lima beans (preferably peeled), or fava beans (peeled); or a mix of all 1 cup heavy cream 1 Tbs. thinly sliced lemon zest (remove zest with a vegetable peeler and thinly slice) 2 cups loosely packed pea shoots, watercress sprigs, or baby arugula 1 2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 1 2 cup roughly chopped mixed fresh herbs such as basil, chervil, chives, mint, parsley, and tarragon 1 4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes Freshly ground black pepper 1 4 cup toasted pine nuts Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil and cook the fettuccine, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 6 minutes. (While pasta is cooking, scoop out 11 2 cups of pasta cooking water.) Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened and fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the reserved pasta water. Add the sliced vegetables and peas or lima beans (if using fresh). Cover and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and lemon zest along with any fava beans or thawed peas or lima beans (if using). Bring to a simmer. Drain the fettuccine and return it to its cooking pot. Toss with the vegetables and cream sauce, pea shoots (or watercress or arugula), Parmigiano, all but 1 Tbs. of the herbs, and the pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If necessary, adjust the consistency of the sauce with the reserved 1 2 cup pasta water; the sauce should generously coat the vegetables and pasta. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the remaining fresh herbs and the pine nuts. Allison Ehri, Fresh 2006 Top photo : Sarah Jay

3 Artichokes with Peas & Prosciutto Serves four to six. Because fresh peas don t arrive in my local markets until the spring artichoke harvest is winding down, I usually make this dish with frozen peas. If you use fresh peas, they ll need more cooking time and more water; add them to the skillet about 10 minutes after you start the artichokes, along with just enough water to keep them steaming steadily. Fresh Peas with Lemon & Chives Serves three. Fresh mint or chervil would be nice with these peas, too, if you don t have chives. If you don t have shallots, finely chop the white part of two small scallions. 1 Tbs. plus 1 4 tsp. kosher salt 8 oz. shelled fresh peas 2 Tbs. unsalted butter 1 large shallot, finely chopped (to yield about 3 Tbs.) 1 4 cup heavy cream 2 tsp. finely chopped chives 1 4 tsp. minced lemon zest Freshly ground black pepper Fill a medium-large pot with 2 qt. water and 1 Tbs. kosher salt. Bring the water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice and just enough water to cover. Add the peas to the boiling water and cook until they re bright green and just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a mesh strainer, immediately transfer the peas to the ice bath and let them sit immersed in the water until cool, about 2 minutes. Transfer the peas to a dishtowel or paper towels, and let them drain thoroughly. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the chopped shallot and sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. (Raise the heat to medium low if necessary, but don t let the shallot brown.) Add the heavy cream, chives, lemon zest, the remaining 1 4 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds, add the peas, and cook until the cream has thickened enough to start clinging to the peas (a wooden spoon will leave a wide path when scraped on the bottom of the pan) and the peas are well heated, another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if you like and serve immediately. Susie Middleton, Fine Cooking #45 Asparagus & Citrus Salad Serves four. This bright and simple salad tastes best with a good, fruity olive oil and true balsamic vinegar. 2 Tbs. finely chopped shallot 1 Tbs. good-quality balsamic vinegar 1 tsp. sherry vinegar 3 oranges, preferably blood oranges 2 to 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 11 2 lb. asparagus, trimmed Freshly ground black pepper to taste (optional) In a small bowl, combine the shallots with the vinegars and let the shallots macerate at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, zest 1 of the oranges, avoiding the white pith. Finely chop the zest and add it to the shallots. Juice the zested orange to yield about 1 3 cup and add the juice to the shallots and vinegar. Slowly pour in the olive oil, stirring to mix. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and simmer until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and spread the spears on paper towels to cool. Cut off the ends of the remaining 2 oranges and peel them by running a sharp knife down the fruit vertically, following the contours. Slice the peeled orange hori zontally into 1 4-inch-thick slices. Just before serving, toss the cooled asparagus with the vinaigrette. Arrange the spears and the orange slices on salad plates. Sprinkle with pepper, if you like, and serve immediately. Seen Lippert, Fine Cooking #26 2 lemon halves 4 large globe artichokes 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 1 small red onion, minced and freshly ground black pepper 10 oz. frozen peas, partially thawed 11 2 oz. very thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma (about 2 slices), cut into thin strips 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh mint Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze the juice from the lemon halves into the water. Trim the artichokes as in the recipe for SlowSautéed Artichokes on p. 2 of this bonus download, but cut the bottoms into halves instead of quarters. Put the artichoke halves in the lemon water. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut each artichoke half into thin wedges (about 6 per half). Return the wedges to the lemon water. When the onion is soft, drain the artichokes and add them to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and stir to coat them with the fat. Cover and cook until the artichokes are almost tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Check and stir occasionally to be sure they aren t burning or sticking but are steaming steadily; adjust the heat accordingly. If there s any sticking, add a tablespoon or two of water. Add the peas and cover the pot. Cook until the peas are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the prosciutto and mint. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve immediately. Janet Fletcher, Fine Cooking #57 Top left photo: Steve Hunter

4 Linguine with Asparagus, Morels & Cream Serves three to four as a side dish or two as a main course. If you can t find fresh morels, use dried. Chanterelles also taste great in this dish. 3 oz. fresh morel mushrooms, wiped clean, or 1 oz. dried morels, reconstituted in 2 cups of hot water, drained (strain and reserve the liquid), and patted dry 4 Tbs. unsalted butter 1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 1 Tbs.) 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 11 2-inch slices 11 4 cups heavy cream 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves Salt and freshly ground black pepper 6 oz. dried linguine or fettuccine 3 Tbs. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano If the morels are large, cut them in half lengthwise. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for about 1 minute. Add the morels and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 10 minutes. (If using dried morels, boil the strained soaking liquid until reduced to 1 4 cup. Strain the liquid through a coffee filter and add it with the asparagus and cream for even more flavor.) Add the asparagus, cream, and thyme and simmer until the asparagus is just tender and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente, drain it, and toss it with the asparagus and morels. Add the Parmigiano and toss to coat the pasta. Serve immediately. Seen Lippert, Fine Cooking #26 Fava Beans with Prosciutto, Mint & Garlic Serves two. Fava beans have two protective layers: a pod with a soft, furry lining and a tough skin around each bean. Parboiling the beans will loosen the skin around the bean just enough for you to pinch it off. Because the process is a bit laborious, if you want to double the recipe, you can use a cup of shelled fresh peas in place of the extra cup of favas. 1 Tbs. plus 1 2 tsp. kosher salt; more as needed 11 2 lb. fresh fava beans in the pod, shelled 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 2 Tbs. minced prosciutto (I use domestic) 1 tsp. minced garlic 1 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar 8 large mint leaves, finely chopped (to yield 2 to 3 tsp.) Fill a medium-large pot with 2 qt. water and 1 Tbs. of the kosher salt. Bring the water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice and just enough water to cover. Add the fava beans to the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the beans protective skin is loose and the beans themselves are bright green and just tender. Using a mesh strainer, immediately transfer the beans to the ice bath, and let them sit immersed in the water until cool, about 2 minutes. Transfer the beans to a dishtowel, pat dry, and pop the beans out of their skins by pinching at one end. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the prosciutto and sauté for 1 minute. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring constantly, until it s very fragrant and just beginning to turn brown, another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the fava beans, season with the remaining 1 2 tsp. salt, and sauté until the favas are heated and coated well with the pan contents, another 2 minutes. (Some of the beans will begin to turn a lighter color.) Add the balsamic, turn off the heat, and stir to coat. Add the mint and stir to combine and wilt it. Taste for salt; depending on the saltiness of your prosciutto, you might want to add more. Susie Middleton, Fine Cooking #45 Fine Cooking features hands-on, how-to cooking information for cooks of all skill levels. The magazine is published seven times a year. Visit to subscribe today. Bottom photo: Maura McEvoy

5 Risotto with Peas, Mint & Lemon Serves six as a side dish or four as a main course. 5 to 6 cups low-salt chicken broth 4 Tbs. unsalted butter 1 medium onion, cut into 1 4-inch dice 2 cups arborio rice (or other risotto rice) 1 2 cup dry white wine (like Pinot Grigio) 2 cups frozen peas 1 3 cup chopped fresh mint 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest 1 4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for serving Heat the chicken broth in a saucepan over medium-high heat until very hot and then reduce the heat to keep the broth hot. In another wide, heavy saucepan, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the onion softens and starts to turn lightly golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until the grains are well coated Slightly Spicy Sugar Snap Peas with Mint & Lime Serves two to three. Rather than letting an opened jar of curry paste languish in the fridge, try this unconventional approach of using the paste as you would a condiment for pan-steamed snap peas. The peas have a mild, slow-burning heat, but if you like things hotter, try doubling the curry paste. 2 Tbs. unsalted butter tsp. Thai red curry paste 3 4 lb. sugar snap peas, trimmed 2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh mint 2 tsp. fresh lime juice 1 4 Heat 1 Tbs. of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the butter melts, add the curry paste and mash it around with the back of a fork until it s mostly broken up and distributed through the butter. Add the peas and toss with tongs to coat in the butter. Add 1 3 cup water, cover with the lid slightly ajar, raise the heat to medium high, and steam until the peas are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and let any remaining liquid boil off. Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. butter, the mint, and the lime juice. Season to taste with salt and serve. Jennifer Armentrout, Fine Cooking #72 with butter and the edges become translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir until it s absorbed, about 1 minute. Add another generous pinch of salt and ladle enough of the hot broth into the pan to barely cover the rice, about 1 cup. Bring to a boil and then adjust the heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth has been mostly absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue adding broth in 1 2-cup increments, stirring and simmering, until it has been absorbed each time, at intervals of 2 to 3 minutes. After 16 to 18 minutes, the rice should be creamy but still fairly firm. At this point, add the peas and another 1 2 cup broth. Continue to simmer and stir until the peas are just cooked and the rice is just tender to the tooth, another 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in another splash of broth if the risotto is too thick. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the mint, lemon juice, lemon zest, the remaining 2 Tbs. butter, and the Parmigiano. Season with salt to taste. Serve the risotto immediately with a sprinkling of Parmigiano. Tasha DeSerio, Fine Cooking #64