A Roman Spring Vegetable Saute
What's better than bright green sweet peas, asparagus, fava beans and mint? When you saute the best of Spring, the possibilities are endless. Evan demonstrates the farmers market bounty can be turned into a topping for pasta, an addition to risotto or a delicious side dish.
Cianfotta (Roman Spring Sauté)
½ cup olive oil
1 white of leek, sliced and washed, tops reserved for soup
2 garlic cloves (or 4-6 fresh garlic cloves or 1 stalk green garlic)
peeled and sliced
½ bunch pencil-thin asparagus, tough stems cut off and discarded,
stalks cut into 1½ inch pieces
¼ lb sugar snap peas, stem end and string removed, each pod sliced
open vertically so the peas inside are exposed
Spearmint leaves to taste (at least 15)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium to large skillet cook the leek slices in oil over medium high heat. When the leeks have started to soften add the garlic and cook until you smell the characteristic aroma. Turn the heat up to high and add the asparagus, sugar snaps and mint. Move everything around so there is maximum contact of veggies with heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook to your liking. I like this dish when the asparagus and sugar snaps no longer have that raw edge but are still al dente. Take the veggies off the heat and put them in a bowl or on a plate before they are actually completely done. They will continue to cook off the heat.
Eat hot, at room temperature, or cold as is or add to pasta or risotto. YUM!