A Cook’s Notes on Dill: New Potatoes and Peas in Dill Sauce

Serves 4 to 6

This dish combines three treats from the garden or farmer’s market in a way so satisfying that I serve it as a main course. The peas and potatoes may be cooked ahead and reheated thoroughly in the sauce; undercook them slightly if you do this. I find shelling garden peas soothing work, but edible-pod peas, also called sugar snaps or mange­tout peas, taste just as good and cut down the preparation and cooking times.

• 1 1/2 pounds golf-ball-size new potatoes
• 1 1/2 pounds fresh garden peas, or
• 1 pound edible-pod peas
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 1 1/4 cups milk or half-and-half
• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
• Dash cayenne pepper
• 1/3 cup chopped dill
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste

Scrub the potatoes well but do not pare them. Halve them and cook in lightly salted boiling water 10 to 15 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and keep warm.

Shell the garden peas or string the edible-pod peas. Place them in a large skillet with water to half-cover them. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook 3 to 10 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk or cream and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir in the dill and lemon juice.

Combine the peas, potatoes, and sauce in a large skillet and heat through over medium heat. Adjust the seasoning and serve hot.

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