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Spring veggies the whole family will love

By Chef Lesli Sommerdorf for Harmons | Posted - Apr 23rd, 2015 @ 9:00pm



After the freezing winter months, there's something exhilarating about the sight of spring's first produce in the grocery store. Right now is the perfect time to pick up some fresh asparagus and sweet sugar snap peas and try your hand at making a fresh spring dish your whole family will love.

Besides simply popping them in your mouth as a snack, sugar snap peas can be eaten a number of other ways. Remove the stems and strings and blister them in a hot wok with crushed garlic and red pepper chile flakes for a healthy side dish, add them to Harmons fajita vegetable mix along with thinly sliced, quick-seared beef for a quick meal, or pickle them and they'll keep long after sugar snap peas have left us until next spring. Unless you can't stop eating them, that is.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Pickled Sugar Snap Peas

Adapted from SmittenKitchen.com and The Joy of Pickling

  • Serves 6 to 8
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 5 minutes
  • Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or pickling salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups cold water
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, washed, stems trimmed, and strings removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Pinch dried red pepper flakes, optional

Instructions

1. In a non-reactive saucepan over medium-high heat, add the vinegar, salt and sugar and stir until dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the cold water, and stir to combine. Set aside and let cool.
2. Pack the sugar snap peas, garlic and red pepper flakes, if using, into a clean 1-quart glass jar and pour the brine over it. Cover with a non-reactive cap and refrigerate. Let pickle for 3 days before eating.

Another fresh spring option is my delicious Asparagus & Endive Salad. It's the perfect healthy compliment to your dinner (or even for lunch!).

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Asparagus & Endive Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 head endive
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse-grain mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly round black pepper
  • ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 ounce feta cheese (crumbled)
  • Photo credit: Shutterstock

    Instructions

    1. In a medium bowl, add the lemon zest and juice. Place the asparagus on a cutting surface and with a chef's knife cut off 1 to 2 inches off the ends. With the knife parallel to the cutting surface, cut the asparagus into 3-inch lengths on the diagonal. Add to the bowl with lemon.
    2. Cut the endive in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 1/2-inch-thick slices and add to the bowl with the asparagus and lemon.
    3. In a small bowl, add the vinegar and mustard. Whisk the oil into the vinegar and mustard in a slow, steady stream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    4. Add vinaigrette to the bowl with asparagus and endive. Toss to combine. Add pumpkin seeds and feta and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.

    Photo credit: Shutterstock

    Join us at an upcoming cooking class to learn more fresh, fun recipes that are perfect for spring, summer and beyond. From international cuisine and barbecue to baking and more, we have a class to fit all tastes. Come learn a new skill and meet some new friends at Harmons Cooking School. You (and your taste buds) will be glad you did.

    Check out our other Ask a Chef and Dietitian articles for great tips and recipes.

    Chef Lesli Sommerdorf for Harmons

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