The dish is best eaten right away.
Gentle flavors, quiet tarragon and sweet butter are what make this trio work. When I imagine cooking spring vegetables I picture them gentled along, never shocked by excessive heat or overwhelming seasonings. The sense is not so much cooking as protecting them. It's an old French technique that Julia Child revived. We use the white and pale green part of the scallions stand in for the more traditional leeks.
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
1 tight-packed teaspoon tarragon leaves, chopped
3/4 pound sugar snap peas, washed and stringed
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
6 leaves lettuce, romaine or Bibb Shredded
zest of 1/2 large orange
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1. Trim away the scallions' roots and cut away their dark green stalks. You shoudl now have 2 to 2-1/2 inch pieces of white to pale green stalks.
2. In a straight-sided 12-inch saute pan set over medium heat, melt the butter with the tarragon until the butter is creamy. Stir in the sugar snaps and scallions, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Blend in the lettuce and orange zest, reduce the heat to medium low, and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the water and sugar, continue cooking for 2 minutes, or until the water is evaporated and the peas are just tender. Serve hot.
From The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift, Clarkson Potter, 2008.
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