Crisp greens help balance a roast dinner.
100g (3-4 oz) snow peas trimmed (remove ‘strings’ if necessary) 250g (about 8 oz) peas in the pod, podded, or ½-¾ cup frozen baby peas 200g (7 oz) green beans, trimmed 2 bunches asparagus (500g / a good 1 lb), trimmed Salt Few sprigs tarragon or 1-2 Tbsp snipped chives 2 Tbsp butter Flaky sea salt Freshly ground black pepper
1 Blanch vegetables in boiling salted water. Allow 2 minutes for snow peas, 7 minutes for fresh peas or less for frozen peas (put frozen peas in a sieve first and rinse off icy crystals with hot water), 5-7 minutes for green beans and 5 minutes for asparagus, or cook vegetables to your preference. As vegetables are blanched – and you can use the same water for all of them, removing vegetables with tongs or a small sieve – transfer them to a colander or sieve and run cold water over them until they feel cool, or plunge them into a bowl of icy cold water briefly, then drain. The vegetables can be blanched 1-2 hours ahead; lay them on a tray lined with paper towels and drape with more paper towels.
2 When ready to finish off vegetables, remove leaves from tarragon sprigs or snip chives. Heat butter in a large frying pan (skillet) and add vegetables and tarragon if using. Heat vegetables gently, making sure they don’t fry, until steamy. Season with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, add chives if using, and transfer to a heated serving platter. Serve immediately; don’t cover.