You may have seen Gourmet’s newest special edition magazine, Gourmet Italian Kitchen. I bought it as soon as I saw it, which is not surprising, but what might be surprising is that this is the first thing I wanted to make from it.
I don’t love asparagus, but Toby does. And I’m trying to cook and eat more vegetables — plus, we had a good asparagus dish when we went to Sassy Supper’s house for dinner. So I thought this was a good thing to try. I used frozen peas, in case you’re wondering. Sorry I forgot to take photos of them.
The verdict? Definitely good. And not too difficult. I chopped the vegetables and cooked it while some chicken was in the oven, and it worked out perfectly. We both ate huge helpings and Toby went back for seconds. And since asparagus is about to be in season around here, I think I’ll be making it again soon.
Asparagus, peas and basil (Adapted slightly from Gourmet Italian Kitchen)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds asparagus
2 1/2 cups (12 ounces) shelled fresh peas (1 3/4 pound in pods) or 1 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Handful of torn basil leaves (about 3/4 cup)
Finely chop the shallots. Rinse the asparagus and trim, then cut into 1-inch pieces.
Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat and then add chopped shallots and cook, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes or until tender.
Stir in asparagus, peas, salt and pepper. (Carefully) place a piece of aluminum foil over the skillet and bend/crimp to seal. Continue cooking over medium heat until vegetables are tender but still slightly al dente (the original recipe said 8 minutes, but mine were a little over cooked at that point so check at 5 minutes).
Stir in basil and additional salt to taste.
To save time, you can shell the peas and cut the asparagus the day before and refrigerate until ready to use.