Sautéed Spring Vegetables with Bacon and Hazelnuts
- TOTAL TIME: 25 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
Sweet, gently cooked spring vegetables get an extra hit of flavor and crunch from bacon and hazelnuts.
- 1/4 cup blanched hazelnuts
- 3 thick slices of bacon (4 ounces)
- 6 ounces asparagus, cut crosswise on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 large zucchini, cut into 3-by-1/3-inch sticks
- 1 fennel bulb—halved, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise 1/3 inch thick
- 4 cups baby spinach
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.