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Healthy Eating, Mains, Saute and Stir-Fry, Sides, Stovetop, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Spring sauté

Spring sauté
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

I live in a place where nearly everything is available year round — so you wouldn’t think that a salute to spring in an emblematic dish would necessarily be reason for celebration. If we’ve had some rain in winter — ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour | Makes 4 to 6 cups of mixed vegetables
  • 2 baskets tender baby artichokes
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 lb fava beans
  • 2 large leeks
  • 1 green garlic
  • ½ lb English peas
  • ½ lb sugar snap peas
  • 1 to 2 bunches skinny asparagus
  • Extra-virgin olive oil as needed, approximately 1 cup
  • 2 cloves peeled garlic, minced
  • 1 small bunch mint, leaves only minced or chiffonade
  • ¼ cup minced Italian parsley leaves
  • Flaky salt to taste

Step 1Remove the tough outer leaves of each artichoke until you see very light green to yellow tips. Cut the tips off and trim the bottom of each artichoke, and halve them lengthwise. (Store the artichokes in a bowl of water with the lemon juice to keep them from browning as you work, then drain before cooking.) To cook you can either boil them in salted water just until tender or you can sauté them in olive oil, covering them if necessary to create some steam to cook until tender. Drain and remove the artichokes to a bowl large enough to hold all the cooked vegetables.

Step 2Remove the favas from their pods. If you wish, you can push each bean out of its tough outer skin (the easiest way to do this is to blanch the beans in salted water for two seconds then shock in ice water). Add the double-peeled favas to the bowl that holds the artichokes.

Step 3Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and trim the bottoms. Rinse any dirt out with cool water. Cut the leek into half moons using all the white and 1 inch of the light green stem. Set aside for cooking.

Step 4Trim the green garlic and clean the excess papery layer as you would a green onion. Cut the bulb and 1 inch of the stem into thin slices. Set aside.

Step 5Shell the English peas. Set them aside.

Step 6Top and string the sugar snap peas. Cut them on a sharp diagonal nearly in half vertically so that the peas inside are exposed. Set aside.

Step 7Trim the asparagus bottoms so the fibrous stem is discarded. Cut each spear on the diagonal the size of the tip. Set aside.

Step 8Film a large skillet with olive oil. Add the leeks and salt to taste. Sauté over medium high heat until they wilt and take on a little color. Add the sliced green garlic and cook until you smell the aroma, very briefly. Add the peas, a bit more oil and salt and sauté just until they are no longer raw. Move the veggies around the pan as necessary until the peas are just done. Add the contents of the skillet to the bowl with the artichokes and favas.

Step 9Once again film the pan with oil. There is no need to wash it first. Heat the pan over medium heat and add the sugar snap peas. Cook them just until no longer raw. You want them to still be bright green and crunchy. Move peas to bowl with other veggies.

Step 10Do the same with the asparagus.

Step 11Add the herbs and minced garlic to the bowl and toss into the vegetables. Taste for salt.


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