Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Trio of Spring Vegetable Side Dishes

This week I wanted to focus on adding more veggies to my diet so I looked for unique ways to serve my favorite seasonal veggies.  Fresh baby carrots were coated in a delectable butter glaze with bits of garlic and parsley, peas were braised in a rich and luxurious egg yolk and cream sauce, and artichokes hearts were given the royal treatment with a pinch of saffron.

Each side added a fun and inviting touch to our meals throughout the week. The Butter-Glazed Carrots added a gorgeous pop of color and flavor served next to some quinoa crusted fish and brown rice; Braised Peas with Egg Yolks was all sorts of yummy deliciousness next to a few ham slices; and the Saffron Artichoke Hearts are served cold, making them the perfect snack, but also a great accompaniment to the sandwiches in my lunchbox throughout the week! 

With such flavorful veggie options readily available I found myself (and my family) eating a lot more veggies.  No more boring buttered peas or plain mashed potatoes. Time to add some excitement to those veggies!

 Butter-Glazed Carrots
Adapted from Essential Pepin
Serves 6

1 pound of baby carrots (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped

Combine the carrots, butter, sugar, salt and water in a pot, bring to a boil, covered, for 10 minutes.  Uncover and boil for another 5 minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are just moist. Sprinkle with the parsley and garlic and serve.

Braised Green Peas with Egg Yolks
Adapted from Essential Pepin
Serves 6

3 cups small fresh peas or frozen peas
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large egg yolks, well beaten
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Combine the peas, butter, water, sugar, parsley, salt and pepper in a stainless steel saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and boil generously for 3 to 4 minutes if using frozen peas, until the peas are tender to the bite.

Mix the yolks and cream together. Gradually stir the mixture into the peas and cook over ow heat, stirring constantly, for a few seconds, until the sauce has thickened; do not allow it to boil.

Saffron Artichoke Hearts
Adapted from Essential Pepin
Serves 6

6 medium artichokes or 1 bag frozen artichoke hearts
1 cup water
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup thinly sliced onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed

Combine all the ingredients in a stainless steel pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer gently for about 20 minutes, until the artichoke hearts are tender.  Transfer the artichokes to a bowl and let cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  This will keep in the refrigerator for a week. Serve cold.
Theme: April Potluck!


  1. All three of these veggie dishes look amazing. I am especially loving the saffron artichoke hearts--they would be the perfect addition to a salad or mezze plate. Yum! ;-)

  2. yumm.... thats a lovely vege spread :)

  3. Great choices with your selection of fresh spring vegetables. All with a wonderful addition of unique herb and spices. Eye yolk is not something I'd think of, but it works.I love all three of your dishes. I'm looking to add and eat as much vegetables to my diet as possible. They can be so delicious and great tasting.

  4. Those recipes all sound and look fantastic! I've been wanting more vegetable recipes too, thank you!

  5. Kim, You have really stepped up the bar for the veggies. They sound wonderful and I am with you, let’s get away from the ordinary servings of veggies. BY the way, I just bought Jacques Pepin’s book Essentials for only $14 at thrift Books. Can’t wait for it to arrive. The library may then have their copy back.

  6. Hi Kim,
    Wow, all three veggies dishes looks delicious! I especially love the look of your green peas! Agree with you, more veggies in our diet is always good!

  7. I don't think there is anything better than fresh veggies. I know I look forward to our garden every year because of the frozen we have been eating. These all look great.

  8. I'm making the carrots for Trevor and the peas and artichoke hearts for me and Alexis. Yum.

  9. I am TERRIBLE about planning veggie sides, but I am going to have to remember these! The peas and artichokes especially...yum yum.


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