Since I’ve been sharing so many soup and main entree recipes lately, I thought I’d add a side dish to the mix. I thought a nice spring vegetable dish was in order.
Laura discovered this beautiful recipe in Curtis Stone‘s cookbook titled, Good Food, Good Life. In his recipe, he uses a few ingredients I wasn’t able to get my hands on. Things like fresh fava beans and escarole. I substituted these ingredients with others and my dish turned out wonderfully.
Basically, a few ingredients start off in the frying pan for tons of flavor. I mixed extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, scallions, salt, pepper and vegetable broth together to create a super tasty base for the other veggies. After I added those veggies, all I did was wait for them to warm or wilt and the dish was done. With the combination of all different types of ingredients that are usually available for much of the summer in the grocery store or at the farmer’s market, this side dish certainly has the potential to be a hit.
4 Scallions, Trimmed and Sliced
2 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Broth
8 Ounces Asparagus, Trimmed and Cut Into Thirds
1 Pound Fresh Green Beans
1 Cup Peas
1/2 Head Escarole, Trimmed and Cut Into Pieces
3 Cups Baby Spinach
1/2 Cup Fresh Basil
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Fresh Chives, Chopped
Parmesan Cheese For Topping, Grated
I highly suggest you prep all your ingredients before you even think about cooking anything. Since there’s a pretty good amount of things going on and the cooking is fairly fast paced, you’ll never have the time to do anything other than cook, when the time comes. It’s much better to prep first and then cook by simply dumping bowls of ingredients into the skillet.
Prep the Vegetables
I thought I’d take some photos as I was prepping last night. It’s always helpful for others to have a visual of what’s going on. I wasn’t able to photograph everything, but I got lots.
First, I trimmed and sliced up the scallions.
Then, I trimmed and cut up the asparagus and beans and placed the peas in some bowls.
Finally, I trimmed and chopped up both the escarole and baby spinach.
Soften the Scallions
Warm a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is to temperature, add in the olive oil, garlic, scallions, vegetable broth, a few pinches of salt and a few pinches of pepper. Bring the liquid in the pan to a simmer and let cook for about 3 minutes.
Add Asparagus, Peas & Beans
Next, add in the asparagus, peas and beans and stir well. Continuously mix and allow these vegetables to cook for another 3 minutes.
Add Escarole, Spinach & Basil
After the beans and asparagus have softened a bit, add in the escarole, baby spinach and the basil. Since your pan will most likely overflow at this point, it may be helpful to add a cover for a minute or so. Adding the cover will assist in having the leaves wilt much faster then if it wasn’t covered. Either way, stir the ingredients until all the leaves wilt. This will most likely take just another 2 minutes or so.
Add Remaining Ingredients & Plate
At this point, you can add in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Also, give the ingredients a taste and add more salt and pepper to your liking, if necessary. When everything is good, scoop some veggies out and place them into separate bowls or on plates. Then, sprinkle on some chopped chives and Parmesan cheese on top of each. Serve.
The Final Dish
Because of all the flavor you added at the beginning, the remaining vegetables should be coated well and quite tasty. I always love wilted spinach, so that was my favorite. The peas didn’t hurt and neither did the lemon or the Parmesan. Great flavor!