Side dishes aplenty

• Peas and carrots are a classic combo. But when I first tasted roasted carrots (yum), simply steaming the two together was no longer an option. My workaround? Using a table-ready baking dish, roast chunked, lightly oiled carrots to your liking (which, in my case, is the point at which they're sweet enough to qualify as vegetable candy), then top the dish with a couple of handfuls of frozen peas. Microwave the duo for 5 minutes or so, toss with a pat of butter and an herb if you want. (Did someone say mint? Or was that tarragon?) Side dish accomplished.

• Creamed peas don't require hauling out a recipe. Simply steam peas for a few minutes, tip off the water, and return to heat along with some cream or half and half, and a pat of butter if you want. One of the aforementioned herbs makes it even nicer.

• Peas and asparagus may compete for springtime love, but they play very nicely with each other. Plus — bonus — they both like mushrooms. For a nice springtime sauté, start with a couple of stalks of chopped asparagus (along with sliced mushrooms, if you have them). Sauté until asparagus loses its edge, throw in peas, and toss them around together until you approve the doneness. (To gild the lily, start your sauté with a diced shallot. In France, they like peas cooked with lettuce. But then, we could go on and on.)