Use the freshest veggies of the season in this One Pot Summertime Primavera to get tons of summery flavor.
Vegetarian, Quick & Easy
Ready in 15 minutes
Confession time: sometimes I struggle to figure out how to use up all the produce coming off in my garden. I’ve gotten a lot better at it, but I think my decades of everything-always-in-season supermarket shopping has got me conditioned to really struggle to plan meals seasonally.
It’s easy when the first asparagus of the season is cut, and it takes all my willpower to wait long enough to get it up the house before eating it. Or when the first tomato comes off the vine, and I bite into it like an apple right in the middle of the garden. But after the novelty of a new harvest wears off? After I’ve been swimming in asparagus or tomatoes or kale or whatever for a few weeks? I tend to trend back to my old not-so-seasonal menu planning habits.
Or, at least I have in years past, this year, I’m really working on it! Part of the responsibility of working this much land is not being wasteful, and between our frequent produce donations, my obsessive preserving, and my newfound dedication to seasonal cooking, we’re kinda rocking it this year. There has been very little food out of the garden that hasn’t made it into someone’s belly (or will in the future).
One of the keys to cooking with what’s on hand, for me at least, is having a handful of adaptable recipes that I can use as a base and throw in whatever is coming off in the garden at that moment in. And this one pot summertime primavera is one of my favorites. We’ve been eating it about once a week since the garden started producing. We started off using asparagus spears, fresh garden peas, and green onions. Then we put in spinach, carrots, and broccoli. Now, we’re transitioning to more summer crops (although, part of the joy of preserving, is that I can now pull out some spinach or broccoli or peas or asparagus from the freezer if I want and toss it in).
In typical me fashion, my departure from standard Springtime veggies is a bastardization of this pretty classic Italian-American dish. Primavera means Spring, so if you want to stay true to this dish’s roots, I’d recommend sticking with the crisp, fresh veggies of Spring. But if your goal is to use up the 3000 cherry tomatoes your garden is producing right this second? I won’t tell Italy, if you won’t. And yes, the irony of the fact that I called this dish “One Pot Summertime Primavera” isn’t lost on me.
And, hey, here’s me burying the lead—this dish is done in 15 minutes. BOOM. You throw everything in a pot, and cook it in less time than it would take to drive to the fast food joint, order, and get home. It doesn’t get more fast food than this.
The beauty of one pot meals is that the pasta and veggies all cook together to make a quick, flavorful broth—so everything has this beautifully layered taste that seems like it would take hours to achieve. And then, like all good things in life, the dish is finished off with some heavy cream and fresh parmesan to add velvety richness. Yum.
This dinner is delightfully vegetarian, but if you want to add some meat, a few pieces of grilled chicken breast (especially if you marinate it in some sort of easy Italian dressing—like this one) would be rocking on top. Shrimp sautéed in a little garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes would also be incredible. Enjoy!