Sunday, June 8, 2008

Three ways with peas

Cook with Jamie, my current cookbook reading, has a section dedicated to peas. It took me until my adulthood to appreciate the humble pea. Now that fresh peas are in season, these recipes are perfect. I've not tried the one with mint yet, but it looks very tasty. I've tried the other two with frozen peas. These recipes are for Matt who loves peas.

I. Braised peas with spring onion and lettuce
This one is a traditional French recipe.

Slowly heat a knob a butter and glug of olive oil in a pan. Add 1t flour and stir around. Slowly pour in 1c. vegetable or chicken stock. Turn up heat and add 6 spring onions that have been trimmed and finely sliced. Add 14oz fresh or frozen peas. Add 2 little butter lettuces that have been sliced. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or so. Squeeze juice from 1 lemon over peas. Serve drizzled with a splash of olive oil.

II. Buttered peas with bacon
Everything is better with bacon!

Cook 4 handfuls of fresh or frozen peas in boiling water for 3 or 4 minutes. Drain, reserving some cooking liquid. Fry 5 slices of bacon, remove from pan and crumble into small pieces. Reserve 1-2T bacon fat in the pan. Add the peas to the pan but turn off the heat. Add a knob of butter, juice of a lemon, salt and pepper to the peas. Add a splash of the reserved cooking water. Sprinkle crumbled bacon over the peas and serve.

III. Minty peas
In Italy this recipe is generally served cold or at room temperature.

Put 4 to 6 handfuls of fresh or frozen peas and a small bunch of mint leaves into a cold pan. Bring water to boil in a kettle. Pour just enough of the boil water over the peas and mint to cover them. Put the pan on high heat and bring back to boil for 3 to 4 minutes until peas are tender. Drain in a colander. Put the peas and mint in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and juice of a lemon or a dash of red or white wine vinegar. Cover the peas and mint with 1c olive oil and mix. Put aside for half an hour or longer for the flavors to blend.


Anonymous said...

Peas and I have a changing relationship.

As a kid, I HATED peas, because they were always canned and nasty. (I can actually tolerate canned peas now.)

As a (relatively) young woman, I discovered that frozen peas were a whole nother story - quite edible - but learned that peas can interfere with fertility. Spending years as an infertility patient, I avoided peas when not inconvenient.

Now after kids, I'm rediscovering that frozen peas are pretty good - and newly discovering that FRESH peas are yet a whole NOTHER good thing!

And don't you agree that food tastes better when you have to work for it a little (shelling, for example)?

--Lisa S.

Anonymous said...

I also like a layer of peasin my Shepards Pie

I like your bacon peas idea

Time to give peas a chance

Kelly said...

Canned peas are all wrong!