Peas and carrots, carrots and peas –put this together with a baked honey ham and you’ve created classic American goodness. For this week, I wanted to take these traditional flavors, put an elegant spin on them and create a new side dish that is daring and full of American swank.
I began with purple carrots and shallots from my farmer’s market.
They taste just like regular orange carrots, but contain more antioxidants than typical orange carrots due to its color.
Stopped at the deli counter for a package of prosciutto from Italy; which is a dry-cured ham that tastes salty and sweet, usually served uncooked, but I’m going to crisp up the edges a bit for some texture.
Jaunt over to the spice counter and purchase a few ounces of ground cardamom spice. It’s one of my favorite spices to cook and bake with because of its rich, complex aroma. It’s warm and earthy like cinnamon, floral and citrusy like coriander and finishes clean and fresh like mint. Since all these flavors are good friends with peas, carrots and ham, I think we have the makings of a delicious dish. Let’s get started!
Makes about 4 cups
Serves about 4 people
Time: 10- 15 minutes
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
4 slices Prosciutto ham, cut into small-ish size pieces
1 shallot, a good size, but sliced thin
– about ¼ cup of shallot
3-4 purple carrots, peeled long and thin with a vegetable peeler or cut thinly 1/8” on the diagonal
–about 1 ½ cup of carrots
2 ½ cups peas, can be frozen or fresh – thaw the frozen peas, first please.
*If you don’t have time, see the note below.
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom spice, add a little more at a time if you desire, but taste as you go
– a little bit of this spice goes the distance
1-2 Tablespoons water
Black pepper, to taste
– a few turns on the pepper mill is nice
Salt, to taste
– the prosciutto is salty and the overall dish may not need more salt- I only used a pinch at the end
Thankfully this side dish comes together in a snap once the ingredients are sliced and prepped.
In a sauté pan over medium-high heat melt the coconut oil,
add the Prosciutto pieces until lightly crispy on the edges. Remove from the pan to a plate for safe keeping.
Return pan to the heat and add the shallots for 1 minute. Add the carrots and peas to the pan. Dust the vegetables with cardamom spice.
Reduce your heat to Medium and add 1-2 Tablespoons of water to the pan. Put on the lid to allow the vegetables to be steamed slightly until softened with their shape and vibrant colors intact.
– To check for doneness: pierce a fork through the carrot, it should meet with a little resistance, while still being cooked through. This should take about 3 -4 minutes.
Once the vegetables are steamed to perfection, remove the pan from the heat, and add the prosciutto back to the pan.
Grab your pepper mill and give your dish a few fresh turns of pepper. Stir everything together.
Taste before you serve so you can adjust if it needs more salt or a dash more cardamom. It should taste like freshly sautéed peas and carrots, salty from the prosciutto, a little heat from the pepper and a subtle clean warmth from the cardamom. Try to find a good balance of these flavors where nothing is overpowering the other. The vegetables should shine. Enjoy!
*If you are using straight-out-of-the-freezer frozen peas, add them to the pan first to steam for 3 minutes before adding the thinly peeled or sliced raw carrots, then steam/cook them together for the 3-4 minutes in the recipe.