It’s been an amazing to watch the impact of the changing seasons on the land around here. A month ago my home was surrounded by acres of non-descript nothingness. Now, when I look out my window I see fresh hay bales, what look to be baby corn stalks, wheat and tomatoes.
The produce in the market is changing too. This past week saw the addition of fresh peas and boy oh boy was I excited. Turns out not only do I love peas, but I really love shelling. I love the idea of peas so fresh they haven’t even been exposed to outside air yet, sticky with natural sugar.
This recipe really is a celebration of early summer. Here in my corner of the world you can’t go too far without finding shockingly pretty produce, especially when it comes to asparagus and tomatoes. Topped off with a minty pea sauce this recipe is screaming for a cool glass of pinot and a balmy summer evening.
Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes with Minty Peas
Serves 4 as side dish
1 lb. asparagus
10 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
½ lb. fresh peas, shelled
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tbsp. Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. salt
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot fitted with a strainer, bring about two cups of water to a simmer.
Trim the asparagus by snapping the end off each stalk. Add to the strainer, covering the pot with a lid. Steam the asparagus for about five minutes or until it is bright green and still has a bite. Rinse under cool water and dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
For the pea sauce, fill the pot with about two cups of fresh water and the 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a simmer. Add the shelled peas and blanch for about five minutes. Try mashing some of the peas with a fork to test for softness. They should mash easily. Strain the peas and rinse under cold water. Add to a medium sized bowl and mash against the sides of the bowl with a fork until slightly chunky. Stir in the yogurt, lemon juice, zest and mint. Taste for salt and pepper.
Top the asparagus with pea sauce and sliced tomatoes.