Thursday, March 26, 2009

Green green spring vegetables

It’s definitely starting to look like spring around here. Some proof from my backyard, bonus points if you can identify these:



I am trying to make the most of asparagus while it’s still in season. I was flipping through Barefoot Contessa at Home and noticed a recipe for green green spring vegetables that includes asparagus. It sounded like a perfect side dish, and I set out to make it.

This is a very simple recipe – asparagus, french green beans, broccolini and sugar snap peas are lightly blanched in salted water. Am I the only person out there that actually thinks it’s fun to blanch vegetables? It’s a foolproof method to end up with vibrantly colored and perfectly cooked vegetables. Some shallots are thinly sliced and browned in a combination of butter and olive oil, and the vegetables are added to the pan to warm through.

As usual, I didn’t use all the butter that was called for. If you cut the fat like I did, it makes for a very healthy and beautiful side dish. I think you could use other combinations of green vegetables and still end up with a great result.



78 comments:

lesley said...

Beautiful flowers and asparagus!

(My mom would be able to identify them unfortunately I cannot!)

Leslie said...

Green Veggies are like Spring time!!! Sara these are Beautiful!!!
Leslie
LeslieVeg@msn.com
http://leslielovesveggies.blogspot.com/

LK- Healthy Delicious said...

blanching asparagus and green beans is my favorite way to prepare them

Heather said...

the flowers look lovely. and the veggies look so light, fresh and delicious! mmmm :)

Tracey said...

Those flowers are gorgeous! I can't wait for flowers to start springing up on the east coast.

I like to blanch veggies too. Looks like another great recipe from Ina.

Sarah Herman said...

I think the first are cherry blossoms, then the last might be bachelor's buttons? The middle I have in my yard but can never remember the name! Mine are purple! I love this recipe, and Ina garten!

5 Star Foodie said...

Beautiful flowers and the green veggies sound very delicious!

n.o.e said...

Love your spring photos and the beautiful green veggies. Thanks for your comment on my bread post. I'm glad to get the info on the ww sandwich bread; that was the one that caught my eye to try first and now I have confirmation. Also I noticed that in the book, Reinhart has honey added to the final dough on the bread I baked, and advises kneading with wet hands. Both would have helped my bread. Glad I have the book now.
Nancy

Selba said...

Beautiful flowers... I'm not familiar with flowers' names, must ask my mom since she is an expert for flowers and plants :)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Are those cherry or apple blossoms in the first photo; allium in the second and anemones in the third?
Love the green veggies and the thoughts of spring.

Claudia said...

You are taunting me with spring flowers. Oh the asparagus. I am tending to roast them.

unconfidentialcook said...

This makes me want to stop eating chocolate ice cream....

Pearl said...

looks delicious!

Barbara Bakes said...

Beautiful pictures! Your veggies are as gorgeous as your flowers!

Irene said...

Gorgeous photos and great recipe!

Gabe's Girl said...

Your pictures are gorgeous! I feel so embarrassed that you see my rough looking ones! I absolutely LOVE asparagus. I have never heard of broccolini. Where do you find it?

Sara said...

This is one of my favorite side dishes...I've been just itching to make it, but I haven't seen broccolini in stores up here just yet.

The flowers are beautiful. :)

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

What gorgeous flowers! I'm afraid I don't know what they're called but I know that they're a sure sign of Spring!

Bridgett said...

I am so glad asparagus is coming back into season. It tastes so much better now. I definitely am not a gardner, but the flowers sure are gorgeous!

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never blanched veggies before. Hmm.

girlichef said...

These veggies look so good...coming up on asparagus season here and I cannot wait! yummy.

Erica said...

Gorgeous pictures of the flowers! I am so excited it is warming up and things are starting to blossom!

Love how simple yet wonderful this recipe looks! I need to get this barefoot cookbook! yum yum!

Hope you have a great weekend

Donna-FFW said...

Oh, this is so beautiful, Sara! So healthy.. I need to take some healthy cooking lessons from you.. and BTW, shed, yes, why not, live only once:)

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Looks very good. I just love green beans!
Happy Spring!

Mommy Gourmet said...

Oh man that sounds so good. I love to keep thing simple with veggies, it lets them shine.

Natashya said...

Spring!
Love the pics, we still have a way to go here, my spring banner shot is actually from last year. But, at least it's not snowing.. knock wood!
Your platter of spring veg sound wonderful, Ina is the best!

ttfn300 said...

ooh, spring!!! gotta love the fresh veggies :)

Maryann said...

Well, the blossoms remind me of the dogwood trees we had in our yard as a child. But they are probably cherry?

teresa said...

I love veggie dishes like this, beautiful!

Cassie said...

What a beautiful, refreshing vegetable dish! The flower photos are gorgeous (and no, unfortunately I can't name them).

Cate said...

Perfect recipe to celebrate spring, now if only the weather would cooperate. Your flowers are gorgeous!

lisaiscooking said...

That's beautiful proof of spring being here!

Lisa said...

Love the veggies and beautiful flowers. Your parents dinner looks fabulous!

Cathy said...

The spirng flowers are beutiful and the side dish looks great!

Netts Nook said...

Sara: This sounds great can't wait to try. Love the combination.

finsmom said...

What beautiful photos (as usual!)
Now I want Spring to come even faster! Thanks for sharing!

Culinary Wannabe said...

I love the flowers, but have no idea what they are! Nothing grows around me, which is why my apartment is full of really nice fake arrangements! :) I'm so excited for snap peas - they are my fav!

stephchows said...

Looks beautiful! And I'm with you about cutting the fat, I feel like most recipes want things swimming in butter and oil, bleh!

Carolyn Jung said...

Hooray for spring and the first asparagus of the season!

Debbie said...

I love this mixture of greens! Your pictures are amazing.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your pictures are amazing! I love asparagus!

Cheers,

Rosa

Soma said...

The flowers are soo pretty!

I have some asparagus right now.. this one looks really fresh & green love it!

Elra said...

Aren't we all love spring is here finally? Can't wait to go to farmer's market too, so I can get all of those fresh vegetable and fruit.
Your veggy look gorgeous Sara, I know its delicious as well.
Cheers,
elra

melissa said...

Blanching is the best! I just discovered it in November and it's an invaluable cooking method. I'm actually doing it with asparagus tonight, and the wrapping prosciutto around the spears and roasting until the meat gets a bit crisp.

Beautiful verdant photo!

Half Baked said...

Gorgeous flower photos! I love the spring veggies! yours look so fresh and delish!!

chuck said...

Sara, the photos are wonderful. I'm so excited for spring. My poor herb garden is a disaster and can't wait for it to come alive again.

Reeni♥ said...

Such gorgeous flowers! And veggies. This sounds great with the shallots.

Elyse said...

MMM, I adore asparagus. All of your pictures make me so happy! I love the spring!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Thank you for making Ina's dish healthy for us. She does use too much butter. Your photo, as always, is gorgeous too.
Wish I could identify your flowers - I was a Master Gardener in Florida - shame on me. The pink one looks like an anenome. I'm guessing another one is a cherry blossom. Our Japanese cherries have just started here in the mountains. The Bradford pears have bloomed for a couple of weeks and are now shedding and it looks like snow on the downtown sidewalks.
Sam

Diana said...

Those greens look so inviting and refreshing. I'm a huge veggie person -- could eat a whole plate and be perfectly happy!

Jennifer said...

There are 2 things I have yet to try: rhubarb and broccolini-thanks for the inspiration

Varsha Vipins said...

thats some bright green out there..I love blanching too..:)..SIgh..Spring is not here yet..:(

Sara said...

Some good guesses on the flowers, Ciao Chow Linda is very close! I'll put the answer in the next post.

Gabe's Girl - Sometimes it's called baby broccoli or asparation. I got mine at my local grocery store, I know they sell it at Trader Joe's too if you have one.

Jennifer - I actually cooked with rhubarb this week too! It's great, you have to try it.

Tartelette said...

Oh yes! SO simple and fresh! I am all about Spring these days too!! fruits, veggies, blossoms!

Nazarina A said...

I love your spring flowers and your asparagus.Healthy preparation! I wish for spring to be in full bloom over here.

thecleanveggie said...

yay for spring veggies :)
love your flower pictures!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

First is a fruit tree blossom.
Second, an alium.
Third, anemone.

Maybe.

Live.Love.Eat said...

I know whatcha mean about blanching. I love the bright colors. Looks wonderful and healthful.

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

OH wow, I'm so jealous. I hope I have a garden one day.

Amanda said...

Beautiful photos as always. That veggie dish looks & sounds amazing.

Here are my guesses for your floral pics:

1 - cherry blossom
2 - spider mum
3 - poppy

Of course I know very, very little about flowers and still have yet to see one here in Central NY this year. We're getting a few buds on the trees now, but that's about it. The temps are still dipping below freezing at night. :(

Juliana said...

Love your pictures...just in time to celebrate Spring!

The Food Hunter said...

What beautiful flowers.

Gloria Chadwick said...

Your flowers are beautiful! The asparagus looks really good, too. :)

Kerstin said...

Gorgeous flowers! I love fresh spring veggies - yum!

Nicisme said...

Fabulous blog and photos and food and.... everything!!
I'll be back!

Ingrid said...

Looks like another dish two out of three of my kiddos will love and that third would it but pick out the green bean because (out of the blue)she says she doesn't like 'em. Grrr, since when?
~ingrid

Jan said...

Lovely pictures! I love spring time!

Suzy said...

You do have some pretties in your garden! I do too but at the moment they are under a couple inches of snow! Can't go wrong with asparagus anything :-)

Hayley said...

You pictures are gorgeous! I can't wait for Summer and all those green trees, and veggies. Thanks for sharing!

koshercamembert said...

beautiful flowers, beautiful veggies, and I'm sure tasty as well. thanks for posting. - zahavah

Judy said...

I love your flower photos, and the veggies look yummy.

Sara said...

Great looking vegetables!

I usually cut down on the butter in Barefoot Contessa recipes, too.

Pearl said...

thanks for the compliment about my sorbet! i actually came across and made it by accident, hence the odd shape :). i've never put the seeds before in salad but now i have something new to try! thanks so much :)

Helene said...

Your flowers are beautiful.

Claudia said...

Spring on a plate! And I am having a vegetarian over for dinner - and everyone would love that. I also blanche. (How many meanings does that sentence have?) I love the color and they don't droop!

Lori said...

I go crazy over asparagus every year! One of my favs. Cant get enough. Most of the time (so simple I know) I want it plain with salt.

Robin Sue said...

Hi Sara,
I love blanching too. I think it is so pretty when they hit the hot water and go to a vibrant green. This is such a great recipe and a good way to get all those greens in.

Ana Powell said...

Hi Sarah
Beautiful pictures.
I love gardening.
Picture 1 - cherry
Picture 2 - allium
Picture 3 - anenomes
I hope I got it right x