Braised Carrots with Feta & Fresh Mint

This gorgeous side dish is freshened up with creamy feta and fragrant mint.

1 bunch baby carrots, greens removed and reserved for another use, then peeled and cut into large matchsticks (as necessary)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
¼ cup crumbled feta
2 tablespoons finely-chopped mint

1. Melt butter in a large heavy sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the carrots, cover, and braise, stirring occasionally, until carrots are fork-tender, 20–30 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper, then drizzle carrots with lemon juice and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving platter and finish the dish with crumbled feta and scattered mint over the top.

Grilled Spring Onions with Lemon & Thyme

This recipe elevates spring onions to a stunning side dish.

4-6 purple spring onions, rinsed and trimmed of roots and tough outer ends
1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Heat grill to high. Place onions on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil to coat. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the top then sprinkle with the pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Toss again to spread out the seasonings.

2. Grill onions until the whites are soft and the tops go brown. Remove from grill and squeeze a little more lemon juice over top and garnish with the thyme.

Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon Breadcrumbs

This light, crunchy side makes beautiful use of fresh snap peas.

1½ cups sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup Panko or coarse bread crumbs
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch red chili flakes
Sea salt

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the breadcrumbs and stir until they’re coated in the oil. Toast, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the breadcrumbs deep golden brown.

2. Stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute until fragrant, then add the lemon zest, chili flakes and a large pinch of salt, stirring to combine. Remove the breadcrumb mixture from the pan and set aside.

3. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and let it heat for a few seconds. Add the snap peas and a pinch of salt and cook for a minute or two, stirring frequently, until they turn bright green and are just tender but still have some bite to them. Fold in the breadcrumbs and serve immediately.

Roasted Asparagus with Fried Duck Eggs

This easy sheet pan dish is topped with bright lemon juice.

1½ pounds asparagus, trimmed of tough stems
3 duck eggs
Juice of ½ lemon
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Cut the asparagus into 2-inch pieces. Put the oven rack in the center of the oven, about 5 inches below the heat source, and preheat the broiler.

2. Film the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil. Place the asparagus in the pan and season with salt and pepper, tossing to coat asparagus in oil. Spread out evenly and pop the pan in the oven under the broiler, cooking about 3 minutes or until the asparagus just starts to brown.

3. Being careful not to touch the pan’s handle, use the spatula to push the asparagus to the edges of the pan, leaving the center empty. Carefully break the eggs into that space. Broil 1 more minute, until egg whites are set. Remove the pan from the oven.

4. Squeeze the lemon juice over everything in the pan and give the pan another sprinkle of salt. To serve, top a generous helping of asparagus with a duck egg and serve with a side of toasted bread to sop up the excess yolk.

Variation: This dish is also lovely topped with a pat of fresh spring herb butter. To prepare combine, ¼ cup room temperature butter with 2 tablespoons of mixed, chopped herbs and a sprinkle of sea salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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