Don’t Believe the Hate: Snap Peas and Asparagus Really Do Pair Well with Avocado

Despite the brouhaha a couple of years ago that erupted after the New York Times recipe extolling peas as an avocado substitute/extender, peas still remain a late spring/early summer a favorite for many gardeners and farmers market shoppers. Yes, there are plenty of pea-haters, but for the many of us who love peas, we are thrilled to see there arrival in the garden and markets–and cherish every moment of their relatively short visit. Sugar snaps are a good choice for those who may want a sweeter, “snappier” flavor.

And indeed, the New York Times didn’t choose to use peas out of thin air to help extend the increasingly expensive and recent California drought-afflicted avocado in its now notorious guacamole recipe. It was none other than as haute and respected a chef as Jean-Georges Vongerichten who is credited with creating the pea-avocado guacamole recipe. Recipes have paired peas with avocado for years, as the recipe below does. 

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Amish Snap Peas at Children’s Garden at Campos

Here’s a recipe for a satisfying saute dish that champions the now controversial pairing peas with avocado. (For more recipes with peas, see NYC Foodscape’s post from June 2013, Peas, Glorious Peas — Two Delicious Ways to Use Spring’s Funnest Vegetable).

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Sugar Snap, Asparagus and Avocado Saute, with Mint and Parmesan Cheese
This recipe highlights the early snap peas and last of the asparagus, with the unusual addition of avocado. Garnished with mint and parmesan cheese, it’s a sweet, flavorful and satisfying way to get kids to eat their peas. And indeed, the New York Times didn’t choose to use peas to help extend the increasingly expensive and recent California drought-afflicted avocado in its now notorious guacamole recipe out of thin air. Recipes have paired peas with avocado for years, as one of the recipes below does, and it was a chef as haute and respected as Jean-Georges Vongerichten who is credited with creating the pea-avocado guacamole recipe.
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook about 2 minutes. Add snap peas and cook an additional 30 seconds. Drain and place into ice bath to stop cooking.
  2. In a saute pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add asparagus, snap peas, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add avocado, herbs and cheese. Toss to combine; season with salt and pepper and a squirt of lemon. Serve topped with additional cheese, if desired.
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