Spring Vegetable Jumble with Lemon-Tarragon Butter

May  9, 2011
14 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

To be perfectly honest, when I think about spring, this is what popped into my mind. (Well, this and flowering crabapple trees.) I used the spring vegetables I had on hand, but you can adapt this mélange to include pretty much any of your preferred young vegetables (baby artichoke hearts, ramps, baby fennel), cooking each until they're just tender. I'm sure it would also be lovely with some sautéed spring mushrooms thrown in. —fiveandspice

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Fiveandspice is a renegade nutritionist and butter-lover.
WHAT: A mountain of vegetables doused in butter and tarragon.
HOW: Boil a variety of spring vegetables (radishes, carrots, new potatoes, asparagus) until just tender. Toss with sautéed leeks, English peas, and a creamy sauce made from a reduction of lemon juice, tarragon, and butter.
WHY WE LOVE IT: If new potatoes were to host a cocktail party for their young vegetable friends, this is what it would look like. Playful, elegant, and beautiful (did we mention delicious?), it borrows the simplicity of a raw vegetable dipped in butter and salt to create an unforgettable springtime meal that lets the vegetables speak for themselves. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the vegetables:
  • 8 small fingerling or new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
  • 8 radishes, tops removed except for a 1/4 inch of stem, cleaned, and halved
  • 8 baby carrots (actual baby carrots, not those bagged ones that are pieces of big carrots), halved, or 1 larger carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, stems removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Olive oil
  • 1 young leek, white and light green portions only, cleaned well and cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 cup English peas (fresh, if possible)
  • Lemon-Tarragon Butter (recipe below)
  • Sea salt and white pepper, to taste
  • Fresh tarragon, to garnish (optional)
  • For the Lemon-Tarragon Butter:
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
  1. For the vegetables:
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and lower heat to a low boil. After about 3 minutes, add the radishes and carrots. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly tender. Add in the asparagus and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Drain the vegetables and run under cold water to stop them from cooking further. Spread them out onto a clean towel or baking sheet to hang out while you sauté the leek.
  3. In a large sautée pan, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced leek and cook until softened. Add the potatoes, radishes, carrots, asparagus, and peas to the pan.
  4. Stir in the Lemon-Tarragon Butter (recipe below), stirring to coat the vegetables well. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, until everything is just reheated. Season to taste with salt and white pepper and serve warm. Garnish with a bit more minced tarragon if desired.
  1. For the Lemon-Tarragon Butter:
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the shallot and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes, until the juice is approximately reduced by half.
  3. Stir in the cream and reduce to a simmer for 1 minute. Then, turn down the stove to the lowest possible heat. Stir in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly as it melts and adding each one as the one before it disappears. Take off the heat and stir in the tarragon. Use immediately with the spring vegetables or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • linzarella
  • marsiamarsia
  • Emily Love
    Emily Love
  • wssmom
  • hardlikearmour

14 Reviews

linzarella May 7, 2018
Wow, this was amazing. Added in a can of oil-packed tuna at the end because I wanted some protein to make it a complete meal. It worked shockingly well!
marsiamarsia September 14, 2017
Excuse me! I see I should've said "Staub fry pan" instead of "skillet."
marsiamarsia September 14, 2017
Add some rice, and you have a complete meal. (Looks scrumptious too, and I'm always looking for any excuse to show off my Staub skillet!)
Peter May 24, 2016
Any ideas as to why you add the butter in slowly? Curious.
Emily L. May 15, 2016
I just made this and it was wonderful! I used what veggies I had grabbed at the farmer's market this weekend (sweet corn, radishes, new potatoes, green beans, and green onions) and it turned out perfectly. I did adapt to make it vegan (sorry!) using Earth Balance and throwing in some almond milk hoping it would be okay subbing for heavy cream and it was delicious! I will definitely be making this again throughout the year using whatever produce is in season.
Stephanie May 13, 2015
I'm so glad I caught this on the main F52 page. Aside from the fact that this looks absolutely delicious, I have to make it because you mentioned "flowering crabapple trees" and used the word mélange. I completely trust anyone who can work those two things into a head note! This is now top of my weekend "to make" list.
wssmom May 11, 2011
This sounds as delightful as it looks!
fiveandspice May 11, 2011
Thanks so much wssmom!
hardlikearmour May 10, 2011
Yum, just yum!
fiveandspice May 10, 2011
Thanks HLA! It was super pretty too! (The picture will be going up just as soon as I have some time...)
Midge May 10, 2011
Sounds super elegant and delicious.
fiveandspice May 10, 2011
Thank you Midge! It really was.
marshengrl99 May 9, 2011
Ooooooo lemon tarragon butter yum!
fiveandspice May 10, 2011