Sometimes the simplest veggies are the best, the easiest to make, and the most satisfying. I make basic veggie mixes like this several times a week; the only requirement is good and fresh vegetables. I’ll usually saute them in a combination of olive oil and butter, season them with salt and pepper and perhaps a little garlic or minced shallot. Maybe I’ll throw in a basil leaf, a fresh bay leaf, or a thyme sprig into the pan to infuse a hint of fresh greenery into the mix. Occasionally I’ll add a couple of tablespoons of white wine to the pan just to kick up the acidity a bit and breathe a little life into it.
This particular medley was made of fresh green peas, good green beans, and fresh white corn. The corn was good, but not stellar like the stuff we’ll be getting mid-summer, the green beans were fresh and firm and tasty, and the green peas were fresh and tender and sweet.
I blanched the green beans in salted water until just cooked through and then I dropped them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. I shucked the fresh peas and then steamed them for three minutes until they were tender but just under-cooked. I added them to ice bath. After a couple of minutes I drained the beans and peas and kept them, in a strainer, off to the side while I cut the corn kernels off of the cob. I then cut the green beans into two-inch lengths. I had about one cup of each veggie. I also minced one large garlic clove and pulled out one fresh basil leaf.
I heated a sauté pan over high heat. After it was hot (but not quite smoking) I added a couple of tablespoons of butter and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. I swirled the two fats together until the butter completely melted and then immediately added the corn kernels. I cracked some black pepper and scattered a bit of kosher salt over the corn. I then flipped the pan the few times to move the corn about and then added the garlic. I tossed the pan again to mix the corn and the garlic and then added a slug of white wine to the pan (perhaps about a quarter cup of Sauvignon Blanc) and then let that steam up to infuse the corn.
I added the green beans, the peas, and basil to the corn. I mixed it all together well, reduced the heat to medium, and cooked the medley another minute. I killed the heat and tested for seasoning. It needed a tiny bit of salt, but otherwise it was perfect. And perfectly delicious!
A note: if you can’t find fresh peas, use frozen peas. They’re perfectly acceptable and honestly one of the only frozen vegetables I ever cook. I find that the best way to defrost them prior to cooking is to pour the frozen peas into a large bowl and cover with a couple inches of water. Let them sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes and they’ll be ready to sauté, as is.