What to CookDinner, FasterSpringVegetarian CookingVegetables

Dinner Tonight: Spring Vegetable Jumble

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It's May 17th. May 17th. It's practically summer. Does it feel like you arrived here by way of amnesia or time travel or hole in the cosmic fabric? Me too. Me too.

When time feels busy and jumbled, pull out your largest cast-iron pan and fill it with whatever you've got in your refrigerator drawers or CSA box or farmers market bounty. Infuse some butter with some herbs. Call it a jumble and toss it with the butter and eat it. You'll feel better, grounded, full.

Spring Vegetable Jumble with Lemon-Tarragon Butter
Spring Vegetable Jumble with Lemon-Tarragon Butter

Grocery List
Organized by area of the market

  • 8 or so small fingerling potatoes
  • 8 or so radishes
  • 8 very small carrots or 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus
  • 1 leek
  • 1/2 cup English peas (fresh if possible, but frozen are okay, too)
  • 1 small shallot (2 tablespoons, minced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 bunch fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter

We're assuming you already have olive oil, salt, and pepper. If not, add those to your list, too!

The Game Plan
25 minutes before dinner, put a large pot of salted water on to boil. In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons minced shallot and bring to a boil, cooking until reduced by half. Meanwhile, scrub the potatoes; scrub, trim the greens from, and halve the radishes; halve the small carrots (or cut one large carrot into matchsticks); and stem and cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Clean and slice the white and light green parts of the leek. Chop 1 tablespoon-worth fresh tarragon.


Stir the cream into the reduced lemon juice-shallot mixture and reduce to a simmer for 1 minute. Turn the stove to the lowest heat, then add the butter a tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the tablespoon of chopped tarragon. Set aside while you add the vegetables to the pot of boiling water: First, add the potatoes and reduce heat to a low boil; after 3 minutes, add the radishes and carrots. After 3 to 5 more minutes, add the asparagus. When all vegetables are tender, drain them and run under cool water. Spread on a clean dish towel while you sauté the leek in a slick of olive oil in a large skillet.

When the leek is tender, add the rest of the vegetables and the tarragon butter and cook a few minutes to reheat. Serve mountains of the jumble in bowls, with a shower of chopped fresh tarragon (and salt, and pepper—white pepper, if you have it) on top.

Read the full recipe here.

Tags: spring, vegetarian dinners, quick dinners