Amelia Saltsman shares a great idea for celebrating both Easter and Passover. She calls it a Spring Melange. In one pot you can enjoy the bounty of Spring, including chard, Spring onions, Fava beans and English peas.
Use a mix of your favorite sweet spring vegetables, such as onions, leeks, peas, and pea tendrils, and “bitter” ones, such as chard, rapini, escarole, and fava beans. Follow the amounts listed below or vary to preference.
1 large onion or 2 leeks, 4 large shallots, or 1 bunch spring onions
1 bunch green garlic
1 bunch white-stemmed Swiss chard or rapini or 1 head escarole or lettuce OR 1/2 pound spinach
1 to 2 bunches thick asparagus or 1/2 pound small sprouting broccoli
1 lb English peas in shell or 1/2 pound sugar snap peas
Handful pea shoots, optional
1 lb fava beans
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or unsalted butter or a mix
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill or mint, or more to taste
1 Meyer or Eureka lemon
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
Prepare all vegetables for cooking and keep separate (may be done a day ahead and refrigerated). Cut onions, leeks, or shallots into bite-sized pieces. Finely slice green garlic including about 6 inches of tender green tops. Remove stems from large leafy greens. If using chard, reserve stems. Cut greens crosswise into 1/2-inch ribbons. Cut chard stems into 1/4-inch wide pieces. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Trim broccoli ends. Shell English peas or cut sugar snaps into 1/2-inch pieces. If necessary, cut pea shoots into 2-inch lengths, trimming away any tough tendrils or stalks. Shell fava beans. Bring small pot of water to boil, drop in fava beans, cook for 2 to 3 minutes to loosen skins, and drain. When cool enough to handle, slip skins off the beans.
Heat olive oil in wide pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic to pot and season lightly with salt. Sauté to soften, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in chard or other leafy green and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until nearly tender, 5 to 10 minutes depending on which green you’ve used, adding a tablespoon or two of water as needed, if pot seems dry. Stir in asparagus, peas, and fava beans and season. Cover pot and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in herbs. Working over the pot, use a zester to peel the yellow part of the lemon skin directly into vegetable mixture. Stir and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed, and a nice squeeze of lemon if desired. Mound on a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
© 2009, Amelia Saltsman.
Asparagus is at its peak now. The California season runs from February to May. Pick some up now from Zuckerman Farms. Look for the jumbo asparagus that comes from young plants for an extra sweet taste.
Music Break: You Don't Love Me by Gemini Brass