A vegetable sauté that celebrates spring and complements your Easter dinner
This week’s recipe celebrates the first of spring’s vegetables. This Spring Vegetable Sauté will make a delicious, healthy side dish for your Easter ham or lamb if you’re still searching for something to complete your dinner. It’s very inexpensive, too.
I found this recipe in Your Organic Kitchen by Jesse Ziff Cool. The book is no longer in print, but there are used copies floating around online if you’re interested. The vegetables in this recipe are available in early spring. If you live in a warmer region, some of them may be available locally already. Those of us in cooler regions (I’m in New Jersey) probably need to wait about six more weeks or so until some of these vegetables start popping up locally – until then you can find the ingredients in your grocery store.
The original recipe called for fresh mint and freshly grated nutmeg, but I switched those out for parsley to suit my family’s tastes. I also chose to add mushrooms as you can see in the photo. After trying the dish, both my husband and I agreed the mushrooms didn’t complement it well. They didn’t ruin it; they just weren’t necessary. So I’m leaving mushrooms out of the recipe.
One of the great things about something so simple like a vegetable sauté is that you can change up the spices or the vegetables to suit your tastes. If you find something doesn’t work, leave it out next time.
On to the recipe. Go ahead and use organic vegetables if you want to make this dish organic. If you can’t afford all organic ingredients, consider using organic potatoes. Of all of the vegetables in this recipe, potatoes rank highest on the Environmental Working Group’s Shoppers Guide to Pesticides.
Ingredients for 6 servings
• ¾ pound new potatoes, cut in half
• ½ pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
• 2 tbsp butter
• 3-4 small spring onions, thinly sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced*
• ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg & 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh mint OR 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
• freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until they are fork tender.
2. Add the sugar snap peas to the boiling potato water for the last five minutes or so of cooking time (less time if you want the peas to be firm, longer if you want them to be soft).
3. Drain the potatoes and peas.
4. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet and sauté the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, peas and your choice of herbs and toss to coat.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
*Jarred minced garlic is perfectly acceptable in this recipe and a great shortcut. I usually used jarred garlic during the week when I’m throwing weeknight meals together, and save chopping and mincing fresh garlic for dishes I’m serving to guests or for weekends when I have more time. If I was going to make this as an Easter side dish, I’d use fresh garlic. When I made it on a regular old Tuesday night, I used jarred.
Robin Shreeves didn’t particularly like to cook until she started paying attention to how the food she feeds her family affects the environment. Once she started experimenting with fresh, organic and local foods, her outlook on food and cooking changed dramatically. When she’s not writing the eco-friendly food blog for Mother Nature Network or attending to her two personal blogs A Little Greener Every Day and South Jersey Locavore , she can often be found in the kitchen, playing with the food that she prepares for her husband and two boys.