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Pea, Morel, and Fiddlehead Ragout

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Serves 4

Yields 2-3/4 cups

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This simple side dish is spring incarnate, featuring two favorites that are in season for only a few brief weeks in the spring: morel mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns.

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. fresh morel mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and thickly sliced
  • 4 oz. fiddlehead ferns, washed and trimmed
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a small pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Cook the peas until bright green and tender, about 30 seconds for fresh and 1 to 2 minutes for frozen. Quickly transfer the peas to the bowl of ice water. When completely cool, drain the peas and set aside.

In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the morels and fiddleheads and let them brown well on one side, about 2 minutes. Add the peas, spinach, broth, butter, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach wilts and the liquid reduces to a glaze, about 5 minutes. Add the parsley and chives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Photo: Scott Phillips

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