We live in blessed times. I mean, seasonally. It’s late-spring, and we have things popping out of plants that are incredible and edible (and not edible, but fragrantly incredible, like wild lilacs, too). I recently had the plum privilege of being a judge for a cookoff held by GrowNYC, where I got to observe the making of, taste the outcome of, and help decide the winner of two very excellent dishes prepared by local restaurant chefs. Held in partnership with … Read More
It’s true: Monkfish is one of the f’ugliest fish in the world. But you wouldn’t know it when it’s served to you. Or, when you buy some fresh fillets and pan-roast them just like any other fish, finishing them with a splash of white wine and butter mixed into the pan to drizzle on top. Yes, even when you’re actually cooking a raw thing to plated dish (in mere minutes no less), you can be spared the gruesome truth of its … Read More
It’s not your ordinary side of peas, carrots and potatoes, but they go together just as well as always. Here, instead of your standard frozen peas, are a cache of just-in-season sugarsnap peas, with their edible, crunchy pods. Something about their shape, especially once split open, reminded me of an oblong shellfish, like mussels. I love mussels in a coconut green curry-infused broth. So why not fresh snap peas, in all their green sweetness, for something like that instead?
It’s a great time to eat your greens. In my garden, the lettuces and stir-fry greens couldn’t be better, tender and succulent from so much rain. But the pea plants have been slow-going after a late sow, just beginning to blossom with white flowers and form tendrils that clasp onto the trellis. Luckily, more experienced farmers have done the wiser and are bringing their mature pods to the Greenmarket now.
This is just one of those really simple yet satisfying weeknight meals. It took all of three minutes to cook, though that’s not counting the rice you might want to serve it with. It was light and tasty as anything could be. And it’s currently my favorite way to enjoy sugarsnap peas. That’s saying a lot, since snap peas are so good prepared so many different ways.
No seasonal food taboos can get between me and my favorite Italian rice dish (are there any others?): risotto is delicious year-round. It simply absorbs the season into its gooey mass and holds it there snug like a mother kangaroo. Lemon? Sure. Crisp spring vegetables like sugar snap peas, juicy zucchini and fresh chopped scallions? Why not? Welcome to spring, risotto. You’re looking green and well today.