Peas are most certainly a seasonal treat. Nutritionally, peas are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, K, and the Bs. They are also high in the minerals iron, potassium, and phosphorous.
How to Prepare:
Three basic types of peas are available seasonally and locally, shell peas, snap peas, and snow peas.
To prepare shell peas: Blanch or steam shelled peas 2-4 minutes. Watch for color to heighten, and be careful not overcook.
Snap peas: Snap off stem tip toward the flat side of pod and pull downward. You can eat young peas raw.
Snow peas: Simply rinse and enjoy.
How to Store:
Use as soon as possible. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for 4-5 days minimum. Storing peas sacrifices some of their sweet flavor and crisp texture. Peas freeze well, but will lost their crunchy texture. Peas freeze well, but will lose their crunchy texture. Blanch all kinds of peas for 2 minutes (shell peas must be shelled), rinse under cold water to stop cooking process, drain well, and pack into airtight containers.
How to Cook:
Peas can be eaten raw, sauteed, deep fried, steamed, or stir-fried.
Information adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini
Pea and Parsley Soup with Golden Caviar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups coarsely chopped onion (from 1 large)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 6 cups shelled fresh English peas
- 4 cups packed flat-leaf parsley leaves (from 2 bunches)
- ¼ cup creme fraiche, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- Golden caviar, for garnish
- Pea shoots (optional), for garnish
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and 2 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add broth and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in peas and return to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in parsley and creme fraiche. Puree soup in a blender, working in batches, until very smooth. Transfer to a clean pot and stir in lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm until ready to serve. Divide soup among bowls and garnish with creme fraiche, caviar, and pea shoots.
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart
Peas and Pea Shoots with Spring Onions and Mint
- 1 pound frozen peas (4 cups)
- 1-½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 medium spring onions (bulbing), sliced ¼ inch thick (3 cups)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups lightly packed tender pea shoots or small watercress sprigs
- ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the peas until they are just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain.
In the same saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the peas, cover and cook until heated through, 1 minute. Stir in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove from the heat and stir in the pea shoots until wilted. Stir in the mint, season with salt and pepper and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine
South Indian Curry-Mashed Potatoes
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
- ½ tsp. Asafoetida
- ½ tsp. fenugreek seeds
- 20 fresh or frozen curry leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 small green Thai chiles or 1 serrano, halved
- 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 1-½ tbsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated
- Kosher salt, to taste
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
Cook potatoes in boiling water until just tender, 25–30 minutes; drain, peel, and cut into 2 inch pieces. Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Cook mustard seeds until they pop, 1–2 minutes. Add asafoetida, fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves; cook 1 minute. Add garlic, chiles, and onion; cook until golden, 8–10 minutes. Add potatoes, the peas, coriander, turmeric, ginger, salt, and ½ cup water; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until potatoes are tender, 8–10 minutes. Uncover and stir, mashing lightly; cook until slightly dry, 4–5 minutes. Stir in cilantro.
Recipe courtesy of Saveur
Chinese Fried Noodles
- 2 (3 ounce) packages Oriental flavored ramen noodles
- 3 eggs, beaten
- vegetable oil
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 small carrot, peeled and grated
- ½ cup green peas
- ¼ cup red bell pepper, minced
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- soy sauce
Boil ramen noodles for 3 minutes, or until softened, without flavor packets. Reserve flavor packets. Drain noodles, and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet. Scramble eggs in a bowl. Cook and stir in hot oil until firm. Set aside.
In a separate skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Cook and stir green onions in oil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to a separate dish, and set aside. Heat another teaspoon of cooking oil in the same skillet. Cook and stir the the carrots, peas, and bell peppers separately in the same manner, setting each aside when done.
Combine 2 tablespoons sesame oil with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a separate skillet or wok. Fry noodles in oil for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat, turning regularly. Sprinkle soy sauce, sesame oil, and desired amount of reserved ramen seasoning packets over noodles, and toss to coat. Add vegetables, and continue cooking, turning frequently, for another 5 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of All Recipes
Mushroom Risotto with Peas
- 8 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
- ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups finely chopped onions
- 10 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-½ cups Arborio rice or short-grain white rice
- ⅔ cup dry white wine
- ¾ cup frozen peas, thawed
- ⅔ cup grated Parmesan
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional
Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the porcini mushrooms. Set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Keep the broth warm over very low heat.
Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the white mushrooms and garlic. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini mushrooms to a cutting board. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the saucepan. Saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes. Add the wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes (the rice will absorb 6 to 8 cups of broth). Stir in the peas. Mix in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Recipe courtesy of The Food Network