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gloriously green

May 03 2009 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Recipe,Side » 15 comments

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It worked! It really, really worked. All my whining and locavorism lapses last week did the trick: they ushered in spring. Real spring. Sunshine, warmth, green. And allergies, lots of those. If I knew that it would be that easy to bring an end to last week’s persistent, relentless gloom and grey, I would’ve been making strawberry-rhubarb crisp, pie, crumble and the like in February. Really, I would have.

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Now that spring finally seems like a reality—something I can see and feel—I only have eyes for green: not just those chartreuse mini-leaves budding on trees everywhere I look, but green on my plate too. We’ve been eating asparagus like it’s going out of style. And, with a little luck at the market, we’ve been eating fava beans too—just buttery and meaty enough for me to forget just how tedious the little buggers are to prepare.

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It seems appropriate to ring in spring with this recipe that combines both the asparagus and the fava beans. Along with tiny peas, minced shallot, thinly shredded basil and a little bit of butter, this dish is pure spring: simple, clean, bright, and gloriously green.

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This recipe is perhaps most obviously a side dish, but I combined it with chopped toasted walnuts and crumbled feta for a hearty lunch too. I think it would also be great stirred into some pasta or farro, along with a squeeze of lemon and a dusting of parmesan. I’m sure I’ll dream up some other uses, too, as I continue to ring in real spring.

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Asparagus, Peas & Favas with Basil
Adapted from Gourmet

Printable Recipe

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (about 2)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups fresh shelled or frozen peas
1 cup fresh shelled or frozen fava beans
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Handful of torn basil leaves (about 3/4 cup

Cook shallots in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 4 minutes.

Stir in asparagus, peas, favas, sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then seal skillet with foil. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender but still slightly al dente, about 8 minutes. Stir in basil and sea salt to taste.

15 comments so far. »
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  1. Half Assed Kitchen says on May 03 2009 at 8:21 pm:

    That looks outrageously healthy.

  2. Whitney Merritt says on May 03 2009 at 8:23 pm:

    I need to track down some favas. Where did you find yours?

    I am SO excited that Green City is officially back on Wed. Yay for the growing season (finally).

  3. Melissa says on May 03 2009 at 10:27 pm:

    This is most definitely spring in a bowl, and like you said, customizable for a hearty lunch as well. Glorious, absolutely!

  4. sue bette says on May 04 2009 at 3:51 am:

    I don’t think it gets more springy than an asparagus and fava bean combo!! I love the idea of mixing in some farro.

  5. Kara says on May 04 2009 at 7:00 am:

    It seems that you stole spring from us – give it back! I guess this just means I’ll have to make your rhubarb-strawberry crisp or this flavorful and delicious spring veggie dish – not a bad trade.

  6. Amy says on May 04 2009 at 8:28 am:

    You must have sent spring to Ithaca, too – we had asparagus for the first time at the farmer’s mkt! Whee! What a great, green spring salad. :)

  7. Jen Schall @ My Kitchen Addiction says on May 04 2009 at 1:02 pm:

    This looks delicious – I love asparagus!

  8. maris says on May 05 2009 at 10:25 am:

    That’s a whole lotta green! Love asparagus and basil but I’ve never had them together!

  9. Emma says on May 05 2009 at 11:02 am:

    Thanks for the inspiration … went home last night and cooked a version of this with soya beans and lots of fresh herbs. I tried the feta and walnuts as a topping and it was gorgeous.

  10. Tabitha (From Single to Married) says on May 05 2009 at 1:21 pm:

    I really don’t eat enough greens, thanks for the gentle reminder. :)

  11. Chocolate and Toast says on May 05 2009 at 4:39 pm:

    Suddenly all the cookies and cookie dough I’ve been sampling (recipe testing, you know) are weighing heavy in my tummy . . .
    Thanks for a big green reality check, looks super yummy!

  12. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on May 05 2009 at 7:14 pm:

    Half Assed Kitchen: If butter swathed vegetables are outrageously healthy, sign me up!

    Whitney: Enjoy the market tomorrow!

    Melissa: Thanks!

    Sue: Agree!

    Kara: That’s a pretty good up shot!

    Amy: Whee, indeed! Happy spring to you.

    Jen: Me too. I can’t get enough these days.

    maris: It sure is!

    Emma: Wonderful! Glad to hear you liked it.

    Tabitha: My pleasure. : )

    Chocolate and Toast: Recipe testing is a tough job but, as they say, somebody’s got to do it. : )

  13. alejandra says on May 06 2009 at 8:46 pm:

    This looks delicious! I just bought a big batch of asparagus and a huge bag of fava beans. I might have to try it out.

  14. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on May 10 2009 at 7:18 pm:

    alejandra: I hope you do! Let us know how it turns out for you!

  15. Kevin says on May 29 2009 at 6:58 pm:

    What nice Spring greens! I like the sound of adding feta and nuts and making a salad out of it.

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