BRAISED SPRING VEGETABLES - LEGUMES PRINTANIERS BRAISEES
Late spring is a perfect moment in the life of vegetables. Peas, carrots, potatoes and onions are brand new, filled with tender, sweet flavor, the juiciest and most flavorful they will be all year. This dish, which is topped with a fresh lettuce that melts gently into it, is a celebration of spring, ideal to serve with roasted meats or fish.
1pound;500gnew carrotspeeled and cut into thin rounds
10ounces;300gnew spring onionstrimmed, peeled, and thinly sliced
3shallotspeeled, cut in half lengthwise, then into thin half-moon slices
8ounces;250gasparagustrimmed and cut on the bias into 2-inch (5cm) lengths
fine sea salt
4 pounds; 2 kgpeas in the shell (to give 4 cups shelled peas)
Freshly ground black peppe
1head (about 1 pound;500g)butter lettuceleaves separated, heart left intact, rinsed
Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots, potatoes, onions, and shallots, stirring so they are coated with the butter. Season lightly with salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are softened but still have plenty of texture, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the water, season with salt and pepper, and continue cooking, covered, until the carrots are nearly tender, an additional 6 minutes. Add the asparagus, cover, and cook for about 4 minutes, then lay the lettuce heart and leaves over the vegetables. Cover, and cook until the lettuce leaves are wilted and the peas are done to your liking (I like them bright green and just cooked through to a juicy tenderness,) 10-15 minutes.