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Spring Vegetables with Mint and Fennel Butter

Spring is a fabulous time to feast on new season vegetables which are bursting with flavour and just made to partner with fresh mint. Steaming is a great way to cook them as it traps in all their goodness.

Ingredients

400g new potatoes, scrubbed
200g baby carrots, trimmed and scrubbed
100g asparagus tips, halved
1½ tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
40g butter, very soft
4 tbsp chopped mint
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Instructions

1. Put the potatoes in a steamer over a pan of boiling water. Cover with a tight fitting lid and steam for 10 minutes. Add the carrots and steam for a further 5-10 minutes or until all the vegetables are just tender.

2. Add the asparagus and steam for a further 2-3 minutes until they’re slightly softened.

3. While steaming, put the fennel seeds in a small frying pan and heat gently for 1 minute to lightly toast the seeds and bring out the flavour. Tip into a bowl and add the butter, herbs and a little seasoning. Beat together until combined.

4. Tip the vegetables into a warmed serving dish, dot with the butter and toss the vegetables gently until coated in melting butter.

Cook’s Tip
This aromatic butter is perfect for topping almost any other spring vegetables such as broad beans, baby turnips, shallots or baby corn. A little finely chopped garlic, anchovy fillet or capers make interesting additions to the butter.