Vegetable Primavera is a farm fresh take on a pasta free classic. With all the meat on the grill this summer you’re going to need some fresh veggies to go with! Even better, just make this all on it’s own and forget the meat.
Who doesn’t get carried away with grilling when the weather breaks? Nice weather, cold beer, grilled meats, and Skynyrd! Just kidding. Maybe. With all the grilling going on it’s easy to overlook all the insanely fresh produce coming in from the local farms. I even saw a billboard on the NJ turnpike today saying Shoprite had farm fresh local produce. I don’t buy my produce from Shoprite. Living in Philly I usually go to Riverwards Produce, Whole Foods, or Iovine’s. I try to hit the farmers markets on the weekends but, like anyone, I succumb to convenience and prefer getting as much as I can from one location. Hit me up in the comments below if you have a good farm stand to recommend!
Anyway… fresh veggies are in season!! I picked up these snap peas, tomatoes, and garlic from Riverwards this past weekend. Honestly, the best part of my weekend was discovering how fresh and delicious their tomatoes are (the walk through the new Rail Park was a close second). I was still pasta’d out from the Spaghetti Carbonara I made the other day so I figured I’d omit the pasta and just make up a Vegetable Primavera. I know this looks deceivingly simple but this is the best part about using fresh ingredients. This was so good I couldn’t eat it fast enough. ugh. I want more just thinking about it.
Let’s do this – Snap Peas, Tomatoes, Garlic, Pea Shoots, Basil, Reggiano, and Sea Salt.
A new thing for me is blanching my greens. Any time I’m cooking or chopping greens I like to blanche them first. It helps intensify and preserve their freshness. So I started this recipe with blanching the Snap Peas. If I had just stir fried them they may have gotten a little dull and lost some fresh flavor. Once they’re blanched for 60 seconds I drained them, trimmed their stems and sliced them on the bias. Yes this is totally just for looks and you’re going to cut them this way from now on because you’re awesome. Come on. Look how the little peas are all nestled in their pod beds just peaking out. So cute. SKYNYRD!!
Peas are set aside and we have a pan getting warm with a couple tablespoons of really good olive oil. Stir in a few cloves of thinly sliced garlic and let that aroma fill your kitchen. Toss the peas in the pan with some sea salt and give them a few flips so they’re coated. About a minute later you can add some bright red farm fresh ripe chopped tomatoes. I don’t like to cook the tomatoes too long – we’re not going for a sauce here. Keep them fresh tasting. So about 30 seconds later add the pea shoots and some basil along with a small handful of grated reggiano. Toss this all together for a few seconds and that’s it! Are you vegan? That’s cool. You can certainly leave out the cheese. It adds a nice nutty funk to the dish but this is mostly about the veggies and it won’t be missed.
Today’s lesson? Buy local farm fresh vegetables and make very simple meals from them. Don’t let beef and chicken steal the summer. Your mouth deserves more. Also, this is a really cheap dinner for two people. Go ahead and add some penne if you’re starving but if I were you I’d just go for another helping of Vegetable Primavera.
- 1 Pint Snap Peas
- 2 tbs Olive Oil
- 1 Tomato chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic thinly sliced
- 1 small bunch Pea Shoots
- 5 Basil leaves chopped or torn
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
- Blanch the Snap Peas in lightly salted boiling water for 60 seconds. Remove and transfer to an ice bath. Trim stems and slice snap peas diagonally.
- Add 2 tablespoons good olive oil and thinly sliced garlic to a cold pan. Heat over medium-low heat until garlic is fragrant.
- Increase heat to medium and add snap peas. Add a pinch of salt and toss to coat in olive oil. Heat for 1-2 minutes tossing half way. Add chopped tomatoes and continue to cook for about 1 minute or until tomatoes just start to soften.
- Add Pea Shoots, Basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss to combine. Season to taste.
- Serve warm or at room temp.