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
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
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.
Season with salt, add the remaining
butter and the asparagus and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the peas, cover and cook for 3
minutes more. Taste for seasoning, sprinkle with the herbs and serve.
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.