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Asparagus, Peas and Baby Lettuce

Asparagus, Peas and Baby Lettuce


Fresh peas with lettuce form one of the classics of French cuisine. Teamed with asparagus in a light buttery sauce, they're ideal for serving with roast poultry or grilled fish. Bacon makes a nice addition so you can also stir in about 75 g fried bacon lardons, just before serving. If chervil is unavailable, use finely chopped flat leaf parsley.

 

SERVES 4

  • 75 g unsalted butter

  • 3-4 small shallots, sliced into rounds

  • 3 Little Gem lettuces, quartered

  • 100 g asparagus tips, halved lengthways

  • 400 g shelled fresh peas

  • Coarse sea salt

  • Sprigs of chervil or snipped chives, to serve

  1. Melt half the butter in a saucepan with a lid. Add the shallots and lettuce and cook, covered, stirring often, until tender, 8-10 minutes.

  2. Season with salt, add the remaining butter and the asparagus and cook for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the peas, cover and cook for 3 minutes more. Taste for seasoning, sprinkle with the herbs and serve.

  4. Variation: For a more substantial vegetable side dish or even a light meal, add 300 g sliced baby carrots and a splash of water when cooking the lettuce. Before serving, gently stir in more butter or 1 tablespoon creme fraiche and add 500 g boiled small new potatoes, sliced into wedges. Be sure to cook the potatoes in salted water or they will be bland.

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