Sugar snap peas are that great summer time snack, they seem to crack so perfectly revealing their refreshingly sweet pods. But did you know that they are just as good cooked? Mixed with a comforting dab (or two) of butter, this sautéed snap peas and fennel recipe makes a great side to any dinner.
I love simple buttered vegetables, lightly sautéed and steamed they still have a slight crunch but are perfectly al dente. My grandma used to make carrots this way and would stir a big pat of good butter though them after cooking. It's so homey and simple.
Try to find the freshest vegetables for this, peas and fennel are often both in season together. If you don't have white peppercorns and celery seed on hand, don't worry, this side is more about preparing the vegetables correctly than the seasoning.
Dishes to serve sautéed snap peas and fennel with:
- 1 lb snap peas, (tough tips and strings pulled off)
- 1 bulb fennel, (sliced into ½ pieces)
- 4 tablespoon butter, (divided)
- ½ teaspoon white peppercorns, (crushed, or ground white pepper)
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- 2 tablespoon tarragon (chopped, or any fresh herbs on hand)
- sea salt (for serving)
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add the snap peas, fennel, white pepper, celery seed, some salt, and half of the butter and saute for 4-5 minutes or until the fennel softens, stirring frequently.
- Add about a ½ cup of water to the pan, and cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the water is mostly reduced. At this point the snap peas should still be bright green and tender with a slight crunch.
- Remove the pan from the stove and add the rest of the butter, and a good pinch of sea salt and stir through until the butter is completely melted. Remove the veggies to a serving dish and top with chopped tarragon or other herbs and salt if needed.
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