I can't get enough of fresh peas this season. My vegetable love is partly due to an article about peas I'm finishing up for Vegetarian Journal. I love this magazine and if you love vegetables like I do, check out the roasted vegetables in this issue of Vegetarian Journal.
I've enjoyed every pea recipe, even the failures. But I'm not talking about those. In the process, I became an even bigger fan of garden peas. The Green Pea Guacamole I made last week was to die for. It isn't hard to make--peas, lime, avocado, and salsa. Green pea hummus would be good too--Martha Stewart proves once again that there's nothing new under the sun in cooking. If you can think it up, someone, somewhere, has already cooked or created.
But seriously, who knew mint was such a great partner for peas? It's as if they were made for each other. Kind of like cauliflower and cashew butter.
Fresh peas restore my love of spring, but I didn't always like English peas.
When I was young, I turned my nose up at canned peas. They were an annoyance on my lunch tray. I was revolted by the color, and I recall moving the army green specimens around on my plate at lunch time in the school cafeteria, to avoid being forced to eat even one bite the nasty canned things. We were required to take three bites of everything on our hot lunch trays; I wasn't the only kid moving the canned beets and peas around instead of taking required bites. But those canned peas are nothing like fresh English, sugar snap and snow peas, which rarely appeared on lunch or dinner plates.
Today, we've got peas planted in our garden and it looks like we'll have plenty by the end of this month.
I marvel at the bounty at the farmers markets. These sugar snap peas are from Willie Green's Organic Farm.
English peas are slightly larger, but don't get them too big or they will be starchy not sweet. My Cooking Assistant is waiting for someone to shuck these perfect English peas. I'm guessing that would be me.
Minted Sugar Snap Peas with Peppers and Leeks
16-ounces fresh sugar snap peas, washed and strings removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, washed and sliced
1/2 red pepper, cut into thin strips
2 Tablespoons apple cider or water
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add sugar snap peas. Blanch for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, drain, rinse and stop the cooking process with cold water.
a heavy skillet over medium heat.
2. Add leeks and red pepper. Stir and cook until leeks begin to caramelize and peppers soften. Add sugar snap peas and stir until the peas warm up. Stir in fresh mint and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.