Spring Garden Hodgepodge

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The arrival of Spring signals a fresh bounty of produce; Deborah Madison, vegetarian cooking expert and author of Vegetable Literacy, offers up a few suggestions on what to do with it all. Feel free to play around with the basic formula and swap in different ingredients depending on what you find in your garden or at the local farmer's market.

*To view this recipe and more in the Anniversary Issue of Who's Hungry? magazine, go here: http://whoshungrymag.com/

Spring Garden Hodgepodge (Serves 2)

from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison prep time: 15 minutes cook time: 15 minutes
  • handful of radish thinnings, plus their greens
  • 3 thin leeks, white parts plus a little of the pale green, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 10 ounces pod peas, shucked (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 thick asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed, peeled, and sliced on the diagonal
  • Spring butter, made from the milk of grass-fed cows, or your favorite
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water or chicken stock
  • sea salt
  • about 1 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1. Prepare and wash all your vegetables. Trim the radishes and slice lengthwise, making all the pieces more or less the same. Also wash and dry the greens, ready the leeks, peas, and asparagus. (If you wish, you can make a stock to use in this dish with the leek trimmings, pea pods, asparagus peels, some tarragon, and salt. You’ll only need 1 cup or so.)
  2. When you are about ready to eat, melt a few teaspoons butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and 1/2 cup of the water and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with a few pinches of salt, add the radishes and asparagus, and simmer for 3 minutes. Next, add the peas and radish greens, making sure there is liquid in the pan as you go and adding more if needed. Continue cooking until the peas are bright green and the leaves are tender, about 2 minutes longer. The radish leaves will wilt and look a little funky, but they will taste mild and slightly nutty.
  3. When the vegetables are done, remove from heat, add a heaping spoonful of butter, season with salt, and stir in the tarragon and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings, then serve and enjoy your garden in a bowl.
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