04 June, 2010

Because I was told to.

I don't always do what I'm told to do. Indeed, I can be a bit of a contrarian. But tonight, in the steady, angled light of the setting sun, someone at my table said: "Now this is a recipe you should share." I thought about the dish. I thought about the crisp, bright springness, its aliveness in the mouth, its relative novelty, and just how blessedly easy it is to make. And I thought yes. It isn't Cevenol, mind you. It isn't even French (although I found it in last year in a magazine with a French name: Bon Appetit). The only thing I did to Maria Helm Sinskey's recipe was up the ante on the almonds and shallot. This is a good side dish paired with poultry or lamb chops, one that actually requires less than five minutes of cooking, maybe even less than four. It uses market-fresh ingredients that are available now. What are you waiting for? Jot down the ever-so-brief ingredient list.

And tell me: do you like it as much as we do?

Mangetouts à la minute (Snowpeas with Toasted Almonds)

Serves four.

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds
250 g snow peas, trimmed and "de-stringed"
4 shallots, minced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and cook until golden and fragrant and butter begins to brown, stirring frequently, about one and a half minutes. Add snow peas and shallot; sauté until snow peas are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes (taste as you go!). Remove skillet from heat; add lemon juice. Season to taste with salt, toss and serve.


  1. Sometimes the simplest (and easiest!) things are the best. This dish sounds like a perfect side dish for right now, the start of summer. Wonderful blog you have here. I was in the Languedoc one year ago visiting a French friend who lives near Montady. We fell in love with the region. Bon weekend!

  2. Hello Charles,

    Thanks for the compliments and for visiting! I'm a firm believer in simple, especially in this season when the ingredients are so flavorful: just let them shine. Besides, we all want to get out and enjoy the weather and our friends, right? The Languedoc is rugged but with immensely charming nooks and crannies, the unshaven cousin to the Provence. It isn't swamped with visitors either, which make it even more attractive (at least to me)...so glad you had a nice stay.


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