Spring Garden Hodgepodge

Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton

Ingredients

  • Handful of radish thinnings, plus their greens
  • 3 thin leeks, white part 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 

[Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Deborah Madison talk radishes.]

Instructions

Prepare and wash all your vegetables. Trim the radishes and slice them lengthwise, making all the pieces more or less the same size. Also wash and dry the greens, and 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 need only 1 cup or so.)

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.

When the vegetables are done, remove from the heat, add a heaping spoonful of butter, season with salt, and stir in the tarragon and lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings, then serve and enjoy your garden in a bowl.

Reprinted with permission from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

Cook time: 
Yield: 
Serves 2
  • Simran Sethi: 'We're losing biodiversity in foods'

    "Globally, 95 percent of our calories now come from 30 species," says journalist and educator Simran Sethi, author of Bread, Wine, Chocolate. "Three-fourths of the food we eat comes from 12 plants and five animal species."

Top Recipes

Use less sugar in baking by treating it as a spice

"Instead of thinking about [sugar] as an evil ingredient, I thought maybe we can just go back in history a little bit and think about a time when sugar was one of the many spices that people used to flavor their foods," says Sam Seneviratne, author of The New Sugar and Spice.