It couldn’t be more perfect. Sunshine, blue skies, first of the season vegetables and flowers and temperatures hovering at 68. We’ve earned this!
Last week, we had snow, but this week, we turned the corner into Spring proper. The rains coaxed the leaves on the trees, and finally warming temperatures encouraged the stubborn asparagus spouts, while lilacs offered their marvelous fragrance.
It begins now. Head to the farm stand or farmers market with nothing in mind, and go home with a basketful of treasures and a feast planned in the head. Asparagus is one of our favorites and I knew they would be the highlight of our meal. The first bunch of spring radishes with beautiful greens wanted to play a part, and pea shoots looked vibrant and flavorful. A box of red lentil pasta from the pantry provided a base.
Song of spring
Of course, the chives and mint in my herb garden brought it all together in a lovely song of the spring on our plates. I had a few local ramps, and tossed them in at the end as well, so see what other treasurers your crisper might hold: sugar snap peas? Snow peas? Green beans?
This dish almost makes itself in the time the water boils for the pasta! Simple and simply delicious!
Sautéed Spring Vegetables over Pasta
- 2 tbsp. fruity olive oil
- 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, or more if small
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 small bunch spring radishes, greens and all
- 4 scallions, whites and greens
- 1 large handful pea sprouts
- ¼ cup fresh chives, minced
- ¼ cup fresh mint, minced
- 12 ounces red lentil penne pasta
- Fresh lemon juice
Put a large pot of salted water on to cook the pasta and prep the vegetables. Cut off the tough ends of the asparagus and cut the spears on the diagonal. Slice the radishes in half through the top of the greens to keep some of them on each radish section. Trim off any long roots if desired. Chop up the scallions, and mince garlic and herbs.
Drop the pasta when the water boils.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and add the garlic. Sauté for just a few seconds, until aromatic, and add the asparagus. Cook for about two minutes, and add the radishes and scallions. Continue cooking until the vegetables are just tender and remove from the heat and wait for the pasta
Once the pasta is cooked, ladle it into the vegetables with a slotted spoon, if a little water ends up in the pan, that’s fine. Add the pea shoots, chives, and mint and combine until the greens start to wilt. Season with salt and pepper and taste.
Pour into serving dish, drizzle with lemon juice, and top with a bit more chives and mint. Garnish with edible spring flowers if available! I used pansies and lilacs!
Mix any leftovers with a basic vinaigrette and enjoy over a bed of lettuce!
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