September 22, 2011

Asparagus, Peas, and Basil

final greens

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.

raw asparagus

Basil. Oh-ehm-gee, all kinds of good.

basil and green onions

Green onions. Yes.

green onion

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.

melting butter

sauteing onions

asparagus saute

saute peas

basil add

There’s also a sprinkle of cheese. Yummy yummy Romano cheese, which does all kinds of awesome stuff with these veggies.

grating cheese

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 entrĂ©e 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!

green things 1

Asparagus, Peas, and Basil

Recipe adapted from Gourmet, April 2008

Printable Recipe

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.

Serve warm.


  1. Love it! So green, so easy... and the use of butter and cheese guarantees it will be so scrumptious too!

  2. Oh my! It's so green! I LOVE BASIL. And peas! And especially asparagus!!! I never really thought to put 'em all together. Looks super delicious :)

  3. It looks really healthy and delicious and I love green <3 great idea to use basil I can only imagine that it gave the dish something refreshing!

  4. Oh my gosh, yum!
    This dish is right up my alley. Love all the green! I especially love the combo of peas and basil.

  5. This does sound delicious! Peas are some of my favorite things, but I feel like I kind of forget about them at times. I love the shot of them being dumped into the pot!

  6. To be honest i hate peas... but this looks amazing!


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