Today we begin a new cooking challenge on SlowTalk - Sunday Slow Sides. Along with my fellow cooks and bloggers, we will prepare side dishes using a single ingredient as our base. The single ingredient will be part of the summer's bounty from our own gardens or from farmer's markets or CSA shipments.
Amy of Destination Anywhere is up first this week, and she chose peas. Kim created the colorful logo from one of Amy's CSA shipment photos.
I couldn't find any fresh peas locally, so I used frozen petite peas. When I do find some fresh peas this summer, I am going to try the recipe again because it was yummy.
I decided to use just lettuce (a head of butter lettuce), but next time I want to try romaine and/or spinach to give it a little more color and flavor variety. The mint was great and very refreshing.
All in all, this was a wonderful, light side dish - a keeper! Thank you, Amy!
Here is Amy's recipe and her comments:
Years ago, I came across a passage in one of MFK Fisher's books where she lovingly writes about swirling butter and fresh lettuce in a pot, pouring in just-shucked baby peas, slamming on the lid, and then scooping out the results. Her love for the dish intrigued me, and I've never seen it served anywhere.
I looked at some online recipes, cut out most of the butter, decided to supplement the lettuce with spinach, and came up with this. It was delicious, light and rich at the same time. Nice springtime side dish. I used fresh peas, and when I made it again with frozen sweet peas it was just as good. You can certainly increase the butter, or add a touch of cream to make it more luxurious. I think it would also be a lovely topping for pasta with some fresh chevre or ricotta; or stirred into brown rice with some sauteed mushrooms and a bit of yogurt or sour cream. Dill instead of mint would be good, too. Looking forward to everyone's adaptations!
Petits Pois a la Francaise
Measurements are estimates, use what you have--all lettuce, all spinach, or a combination. This made four servings.
If you're not watching your weight, feel free to add more butter!
2 shallots, sliced
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 head lettuce, (I used romaine one time, buttercrunch another)carefully washed and roughly chopped
6 cups spinach, carefully washed and roughly chopped
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 cups fresh shelled peas; or frozen peas, slightly defrosted
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. (more to taste) chopped mint
1. In a large skillet, melt the butter and saute the shallots until soft.
2. Add the lettuce and spinach. Saute until almost wilted.
You may need to do this in batches--just add it all together when the batches are cooked down.
4. Add the broth and peas, and slam on the cover. Cook until the peas are just tender--2 minutes or so. (just one minute if using frozen peas)
5. Add salt and pepper to taste, and the chopped mint. Stir well and serve.