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Sautéed Spring Vegetables with Bacon and Hazelnuts

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Sweet, gently cooked spring vegetables get an extra hit of flavor and crunch from bacon and hazelnuts.

Plus: More Vegetable Recipes and Tips

  1. 1/4 cup blanched hazelnuts
  2. 3 thick slices of bacon (4 ounces)
  3. 6 ounces asparagus, cut crosswise on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
  4. 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  6. 1 large zucchini, cut into 3-by-1/3-inch sticks
  7. 1 fennel bulb—halved, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise 1/3 inch thick
  8. 4 cups baby spinach
  9. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  10. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the hazelnuts in a pie plate and toast for 8 minutes, until fragrant and light golden. Let cool, then coarsely chop the nuts.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes. Drain the bacon on paper towels and crumble into 1/2-inch pieces. Discard the bacon drippings and wipe out the skillet.
  3. In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, blanch the asparagus until bright green, about 1 minute. Drain, rinse the asparagus under cold water and pat dry.
  4. In the large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the zucchini and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and the crumbled bacon. Transfer the vegetables to a platter and drizzle with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve.


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