Tender Spring Vegetable Saute with Smoky Bacon, Mint & Feta

Late spring, 1981. Sitting on the side of the pool at the YMCA, the sound of distant thunder in the background, whispering through gritted teeth, “Please don’t rain, please don’t rain, please, please don’t rain.” The skies grew darker with every reiteration, until finally, the fateful whistle and the end-of-the-year party was over before it began. Ruined by the stupid rain. Springtime will do that to you, over and over again. Last week, I had my fingers crossed for peas, hopefully prepared this recipe, and then, guess what? It rained, and the peas were too wet for shelling. Luckily, the recipe works great with almost any tender spring produce–broccoli, cut into tiny florets, cauliflower, baby spinach, even greens. And, even luckier, spring rains means the peaches will be amazing this year, and the wildflowers are beautiful, and the mornings are soft and dewy and cool.

Tender Spring Vegetable Saute with Smoky Bacon, Mint & Feta

1 pound spring vegetables–English peas, sugar snaps, broccoli florets, cauliflower, spinach or greens

olive oil

smoked bacon

3-4 spring onions, cut into slivers

splash of white wine

5 oz. feta cheese, cut into 1/4″ cubes

small handful mint, chopped

small handful parsley, chopped

salt  & pepper to taste

Blanch vegetables in boiling water for 30-45 seconds, then drain and refresh in ice water. Cut bacon into 1/4″ cubes or lardons and saute in a little olive oil until crisp and fat renders. Add spring onion and continue to saute for 2-3 minutes. Add vegetables to skillet and add white wine to deglaze pan. When hot throughout, add feta cheese and herbs and cook until herbs are bright. Serve sprinkled with additional chopped herbs.

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2 thoughts on “Tender Spring Vegetable Saute with Smoky Bacon, Mint & Feta

  1. I noticed that you used slab bacon. The local farmer’s market in my town has a vender that sells pretty good slab bacon. Otherwise we can pick from some pretty solid regional producers of thick cut bacon (louisiana doesn’t lack for interesting, artisanal food producers. Just wondering what brand bacon you get the best results from. Thanks for the great sit. I enjoy the recipes, stories and photos.

    • We actually made that bacon ourselves after the last butchering we did. Stephanie cured it for several days and Tink smoked it for hours. It came out beautifully. I love being able to cut it into little cubes–a completely different textural experience and effect. Louisiana DEFINITELY doesn’t lack for people who know what to do with a pig!

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