Tonight: For dinner tonight, we're luxuriating in pea season and making an all-green dinner to celebrate.
Growing up, I was all about peas. My parents fed them to me frozen as a snack and I would make wishes if I got two that were stuck together (forget about birthday candles). On sunny afternoons, I could be found camping out in our makeshift pea-vine teepee in the backyard sitting in the shade, picking the peapods off the vine and eating them by the fistful. Luckily, moving to New York as an adult has not diminished my love of peas—I still snack on frozen peas. But access to fresh peas means a trip to the farmers market instead of my backyard, so when I see peas, I go all out. Hence this springy menu brimming with—you guessed it!—peas.
Making this dinner doesn’t mean you need to live in the pea capital of the country. The thing about peas is that you really can find them anywhere, and as I was taught at a young age, frozen ones are practically as good as fresh ones. This is a spring dinner worthy of any pea-lover anywhere, because when fresh peas are not within your reach, frozen peas step up to the plate and hit hard for spring vegetables nationwide.
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Shaved Asparagus Salad with Feta and Peas
(Organized by the area of the market)
Serves 2 to 4
1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 bunch asparagus, washed and well-dried
1 big handful arugula
1/2 pound fresh pasta (linguine, capellini, or spaghetti; if you don't have fresh, dried is great—just give yourself extra cooking time)
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus some to serve (Parmesan also works)
2 ounces feta, crumbled
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) deshelled pistachios, roughly chopped
We are assuming you already have flaky sea salt, pepper, olive oil, 32 ounces of chicken broth, and one egg. If not, add those to your list, too!
30 minutes before dinner, turn on some relaxing music, pour yourself a glass of chilled rosé, and start shaving each asparagus spear carefully using a cheese plane or potato peeler. Once all the asparagus is shaved, finish off your glass of wine and pour yourself a second because it’s easy sailing from here. In a separate bowl, assemble the toppings: Combine the arugula, peas, pistachios, feta, and lemon juice. Keep the shaved asparagus and toppings separate while you prep the pasta (you don't want your salad to get soggy).
About 15 minutes before you want to be at the table, bring your broth to a boil, throw in your peas, then add in your fresh pasta letting it cook for about 3 minutes. In a small bowl mix together your egg and cheese. Toss the pasta and the cheese mixture together. Pasta is ready to go!
Now that pasta is ready, toss your shaved asparagus with your bowl of toppings and serve both. Another glass of chilled rosé isn’t a horrible idea either.
Photos by Bobbi Lin
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