For Father’s Day last year, what my husband wanted the most was not to be chained to sinkfuls of dishes to be washed, which — given who is he is married to — is an understandable request. We took him out to dinner to a serious barbecue place, one that leaves your clothes smelling like pork and fire, and he was a happy man.
But for lunch, I did want to cook up a simple something, so we had teriyaki chicken skewers, and then I made the following, with ingredients from my neighbor’s garden. Sugar snaps, and arugula, and spinach, and peas….you can use any combo you like, but it’s nice to have an assortment of types and textures.
And then the boys and I did the dishes while Gary made jokes about blue moons and pigs flying.
Why is the garlic smashed instead of minced? Two reasons. One, smashing the garlic and letting the crushed cloves saute gently with the vegetables imparts a slight garlicky flavor, but doesn’t overpower the delicate flavor of the greens. You don’t want to lose that really delightful fresh taste. Two, I felt lazy, and smashing fresh garlic cloves is both satisfying and easy.
If you have asparagus on hand, add that in as well (or substitute it it for any of the vegetables). And while this is the world’s best way to cook spring vegetables, you can also make this at other times of the year, and use frozen peas, and maybe small broccoli florets instead of the sugar snaps.
Simple Sauteed Spring Greens
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 cups fresh shelled peas
- 2 cups snow peas, sugar snap peas, or a combination trimmed
- 1 cups torn spinach leaves or baby spinach
- 2 cups arugula
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a small skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil, then add the garlic, and sauté until very lightly browed, about 3 minutes.
- Add the peas, snow peas, or sugar snaps, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of water, cover the pan, and let steam for 3 minutes. When almost all of the liquid has evaporated, remove the lid, add the spinach and arugula, season with salt and pepper, and stir until everything is well combined, and the greens are wilted, about 1 more minute.
- Remove the garlic, or leave it, your choice. Spoon onto a plate and serve.
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