"Come March, it's no longer possible to be inspired by root vegetables," says chef Mike Lata of Fig in Charleston, South Carolina. "You've done everything you can." When spring finally arrives, he uses delicate peas and pea shoots to make this simple side dish. "Cooking in the spring is like make-up sex after the bitter fight with winter," he says.
1 pound (4 cups) frozen peas
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 (3 cups) medium spring onions (bulbing), sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups lightly packed tender pea shoots or small watercress sprigs
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the peas until they are just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain.
In the same saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the peas, cover and cook until heated through, 1 minute. Stir in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove from the heat and stir in the pea shoots until wilted. Stir in the mint, season with salt and pepper and serve.