Are you an overachiever?
If so, this dish is for you.
Oh, and ignore that piece of olive-y, lemon-y fish in that photo. Really, just avert your eyes.
Full of green things like asparagus, peas, green onions, and basil, this yummy side dish is an incredible combination of healthy and delicious. While we have come to expect different foods or preparation methods to be healthy, we don’t tend to view them as particularly tasty. Plenty of tempting munchies surround us on a daily basis, but they’re usually fried, iced, or basted in butter.
Makes for happy tummies, but not happy arteries.
So, when I come along and announce that a dish can be both delicious and healthy, I can see how it might seem too good to be true. Believe me, though, it is. True, I mean. Like any overachiever, I simply couldn’t be satisfied with just one or the other. Yum-osity and health-osity are two things that can go hand in hand.
Let me break it down…
Asparagus. Healthy? Check. Yummy? Check.
Basil. Oh-ehm-gee, all kinds of good.
Green onions. Yes.
Peas. Like little green pearls of nom.
Here’s where the buttery stuff (and a bit of olive oil) does come in. If there was absolutely none of it, this simply wouldn’t work. I don’t want to scare you guys, after all.
There’s also a sprinkle of cheese. Yummy yummy Romano cheese, which does all kinds of awesome stuff with these veggies.
You see? We’ve put so many healthy, good ingredients in that pan, paired with moderate amounts of indulgent yummies, that it really creates a perfect side dish. Serve it with any sort of entrée and you’ve got a great meal. Not to mention that it’s a cinch to put together.
Let’s review (because that’s what nerds like to do): Healthy. Delicious. Easy. Quick.
Major, major overachievement. Give it a try!
Asparagus, Peas, and Basil
Recipe adapted from Gourmet, April 2008
2 green onions, ends removed, finely chopped (can substitute 2 shallots)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, ends removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons grated Romano cheese (can substitute Parmesan, if desired)
about 1/2 cup roughly chopped basil leaves
In a large pan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the green onions and cook until softened.
Stir in the asparagus, peas, salt, and pepper. Cover the pan and cook the vegetables for about 8 minutes, until tender but slightly al dente. Stir in basil and additional salt, to taste.