With the warm weather comes the spring CSA for those of you who subscribe to one. Soon, many varieties of spring greens will become widely available, and unless you think creatively, you risk making your meals tiresome if you only serve variations on the traditional salad, particularly if your CSA box contains greens in abundance. If you don’t subscribe to a CSA, keep your eyes out as spring greens appear at farm stands throughout the Merrimack Valley.
PEAS AND BRAISED LETTUCE
This is our take on a classic French farmhouse dish. It’s a wonderful example of utilizing the best that spring has to offer, and makes for a more interesting course than basic peas and onions.
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Servings: 4-6 as a first course or side
12 scallions (green onions), chopped
6 radishes, sliced in half
1 cup green peas (fresh is best, but frozen will work, too)
1 large head of soft spring lettuce with the core removed (we prefer Tokyo bekana, but any soft spring lettuce, such as baby gem, Boston lettuce or romaine, will work wonderfully)
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white wine (substitute 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar if you don’t want to use wine)
1/2 cup chicken broth (homemade is best here, canned is great, but be sure to use low-sodium)
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Place a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
When the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons of butter, the sliced radish, and the chopped scallions, cook 2-3 minutes.
Add the white wine and cook for 2 minutes until evaporated.
Add peas and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and add the lettuce leaves. Stir until slightly wilted.
Add the salt, black pepper, sour cream, chives, parsley and mint. Stir to combine.
Turn off the heat and add the remaining
2 tablespoons of butter, stirring until the butter is melted.
Serve immediately while still hot.