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Simple Peas or Asparagus

Peas Ready for Shelling

Peas Ready for Shelling

Cooking Either:
The simplest way of cooking both peas and asparagus is blanching¬†¬†(cooking then cooling quickly). This will ensure that neither are overcooked and each keeps it’s bright green color.
Bring water to boil in a medium or large saucepan with a bit of salt. Prepare a bowl of ice water nearby, or alternatively, put a colander in the sink and keep some ice cubes at the ready.
Boil the vegetables BRIEFLY – After a minute, grab a spear or pea, blow, and taste. You are looking for each to be just undercooked. This may take a few times to get right, as asparagus thickness varies greatly – Larger ones will take longer. Peas usually take no more than 2 minutes for my taste. Remember, they will continue to cook between your taste and the time you start to cool them, even if it’s just 30 seconds – That’s why you’ll want to pull them off the stove while they are still “al dente.”
Immediately plunge them in the ice water, or into the colander in the sink. If using the latter, run cold water over them and add the reserved ice. The first method is, by far, the best.
After a few minutes, drain and taste – If you did it right each should be perfectly cooked, with a slight snap and bright flavor, and not mushy at all.
If you really must serve them warm, then do it gently – back into the saucepan with cool water and heat until just warm – Do not let them boil again!

Dressing Peas:
Keep it simple – Just a bit of butter or olive oil, maybe some salt and pepper, is all I need. As always, feel free to experiment with what you like, but be careful not to overwhelm the delicate flavor.

aspar

Cold Asparagus

Dressing Asparagus:
Again, simple is better – Olive oil, salt, pepper,¬†maybe some good balsamic vinegar, are nice. You could even use a bit of mustard or any salad dressing that you enjoy. Again (And I’m going to beat this into you!), be careful not to overdress!

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