Sunday Dinner

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Rack of Lamb Persillade
Braised Spring Vegetables
Potato Gratin

Strawberry Tarts

Spring is in the air and in my kitchen! Radishes, asparagus, sweet peas and fresh herbs are a welcome addition to any springtime menu or meal and they come together beautifully in this dish.  The vegetables are braised (simmered in a liquid) and then lightly glazed with the buttery reduction of the braising liquid. The fresh lemon zest and herbs make the dish sing (or should I say spring?).  Now, let me briefly talk about each vegetable.

Radishes- I adore them in any way. They add a peppery crunch when served raw and when cooked, like in this dish, they become sweet and tender.  If you haven't tried cooked radishes, please do.  It might change your mind/taste buds.  

Asparagus- I adore them in any way as well.  If I am not snacking on the raw spears, I enjoy making pesto for pasta and to use as a spread for sandwiches and tartines (recipe can be found HERE). I like to use medium-sized asparagus for this dish (see my post and kitchen tip HERE about preparing them and roasting them).  

Sweet Peas- Fresh or frozen is the only way for me (canned peas are just blah).  Frozen peas are used in this recipe because they are readily available and I live in Northern Illinois, so the ground in my garden is just barely thawed. 

Once prepped, this dish comes together rather quickly and should be served immediately while it is still warm.  It is the perfect accompaniment to any Springtime fare, like ham, chicken or lamb.  But it is equally delicious all on its own. Happy Sunday!

Braised Spring Vegetables
serves 4

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, finely diced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 fresh thyme sprigs
10 medium radishes, trimmed and quartered
1 cup water
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 pound medium-sized asparagus, peeled, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
2 cups frozen peas
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

Heat butter, shallot, garlic, thyme sprigs, and in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat until shallot is just softened, about 2 minutes.

Stir in radishes, water, lemon zest,  and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook until radishes can be easily pierced with tip of paring knife, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in asparagus and continue to cook, partially  covered, until asparagus is tender, another 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, stir in peas and let sit, covered, until peas are heated through, about 5 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs. Stir in chives and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to shallow platter and serve.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from cookscountry.com and Bouchon by Thomas Keller


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