Spring Vegetable Saute

This is less a recipe than an idea: basically, lots of spring vegetables, cooked quickly and simply. Serve them alone or as a topping for rice or barley, add a protein (and even a spoonful of Zippy Green Sauce), and call it a grain bowl.

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Hands-on time: 20   |    Total time: 20   |    Makes: 4 Servings


Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Measuring spoons
Large skillet
Heatproof spatula or wooden spoon
Pot holders


1 tablespoon olive oil
6 scallions, root ends trimmed off, greens and whites chopped
2 handfuls green beans, stem ends trimmed or snapped off, cut in half
1 bunch asparagus, ends snapped off, cut in half
2 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then cut across into half-moon slices
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Put the skillet on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the oil. When the oil is hot (a piece of scallion should sizzle immediately), add the scallions and cook, stirring, until they are bright green, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the green beans, asparagus, and zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the salt and serve right away.


The part of asparagus you eat is the plant’s shoot, after it pushes out of the ground. If you didn’t eat it, the plant would grow into a large, feathery fern with inedible red berries.


  • Use a single vegetable or any combination of your favorites (about 6 cups total).
  • Add a few grinds of black pepper.
  • Drizzle with 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
  • Add a splash of hot sauce (if you like spicy).
  • Swirl in 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste).
  • Stir in ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs, like basil or parsley, at the end.