Hey Sugar (Snap), Whatcha Up to Tonight?


(Kim O'Donnel)


It’s pea season, a short-lived window when you can leave that bag in the freezer just where it is because baby, you’ll never have peas as sweet as they are right now. Me, I’m a sugar snap girl, and I love them raw, unzipped from their jackets, as an afterschool snack. But when dinnertime comes around, here’s what I’m thinking:

* With rice – and lots of lemon zest, torn leaves of fresh mint. As a pilaf, hot or cold, or as a risotto, seasoned with white wine and green garlic, topped off with grated Parmigiano…

* A twist on the ole peas ‘n’ carrots that we all liked to push around with our forks as kids: Peas like coconut milk, yes they do. Make an impromptu Thai-style curry with a few tablespoons of red curry paste and a small handful of chopped shallots cooked in oil, mellowed out by half a can of coco milk, reduce a bit, then throw in peas, half in their jackets, half undressed, plus thinly sliced carrot circles and cook till warmed through. Basil for garnish is a must.

* As part of a couscous salad (hot or cold)… and how could I forget pasta, long or short, with or without prosciutto, but with plenty of herbs for sure! Peas love basil, mint, parsley, marjoram, dill, thyme, sage too…And what about wheat berries?

* Don’t forget quinoa, a terrific playmate for peas. Just these two items alone gives you a complete protein, but you could embellish with a handful of toasted cashews, a lemony vinaigrette, scallions, green garlic. The possibilities are far and wide…

* Peas love to pal up with potatoes and Indian curry. Boil potatoes in salted water for potato salad. With a skimmer, remove potatoes and drain, then add shelled peas to water and cook for 60 seconds. Scoop out, add to potatoes. Drizzle with vegetable oil and plenty of lemon. Meawhile, in a skillet, cook a chopped onion til soft and add cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and if you’ve got’em, a handful of mustard seeds. Make a paste, allow seeds to pop. Pour mixture on top of potatoes and stir to combine.

* Steam for 60 seconds, using lemon water as your liquid. Drizzle with sesame oil. Forget the honey, use a spoon!

Do you share my love for fresh peas? Weigh in with your tips, recipes and ideas, pretty please!




Save the Date! The second quarterly EDF is June 20-26. To be included on the EDF Honor Roll, e-mail me with the subject line: “Eating Down the Fridge, Summer” and in your note, include your first and last name, city, state (and country, when applicable), by June 18. Check out the EDF Facebook Group page for 24/7 updates!

By Kim ODonnel |  June 10, 2009; 11:30 AM ET Spring Produce
Previous: Campfire Cake | Next: Farm-to-Hospital

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



I was recently very excited to pick up a big box of peapods at a farm stand - my first experience cooking with fresh peas. I painstakingly shelled them, blanched them, and added them to a lovely risotto with parmesan and lemon zest. My conclusion: they were delicious, but absolutely no better than good quality frozen peas. What a disappointment (other than the satisfaction of buying local)!

Posted by: Agfras | June 10, 2009 12:18 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the pea ideas. I love fresh peas but my recipes never get beyond the pasta possibilities. Now I get to try them with coconut milk!

Posted by: esleigh | June 10, 2009 12:29 PM

Kim, I love sugar snap peas. I've never bothered to shell them, though. I use them often in stir fries. And like so many other veggies you've mentioned, they roast well, too. (faster than broccoli)

I'm thinking a curry might be nice today, though it's not really the weather for it.

Posted by: ArlingtonGay | June 10, 2009 3:29 PM

Raw. Preferably fresh from the vine. Mine are just coming in and I'm examining them daily in anticipation.

I may have pea shoots to stirfry also. I planted some leftover seeds rather late in the season so I don't think they'll have peas before it gets hot, although the cold wet spring we had makes me wonder. So either I'll get even more peas or I'll have pea shoots. Yum.

I also kept some seeds to see if I can't manage a fall crop as well. Wish me luck.

Posted by: fitday19550 | June 10, 2009 9:59 PM

Raw. Preferably fresh from the vine. Mine are just coming in and I'm examining them daily in anticipation.

I may have pea shoots to stirfry also. I planted some leftover seeds rather late in the season so I don't think they'll have peas before it gets hot, although the cold wet spring we had makes me wonder. So either I'll get even more peas or I'll have pea shoots. Yum.

I also kept some seeds to see if I can't manage a fall crop as well. Wish me luck.

Posted by: fitday19550 | June 10, 2009 10:00 PM

I planted sugar snap peas the very first time they were available from Burpee. My (then 5) daughter was fascinated by the process. I was thrilled with lots of blossoms and puzzled by the lack of pods until one day I went out to the garden and found her sitting under the pea vines plucking and eating them right on the spot!

My latest favorite way of making them is just the way I do asparagas, with wonderful fruity olive oil (or great butter), a clove or two of garlic and a sprinkle of sea salt. Saute quickly in a medium hot pan.

Thanks for more ideas :)

Posted by: tresa_mie | June 11, 2009 12:31 AM

Raw is the way to go with fresh peas! And now my picky 10-year-old likes them, too, although she won't eat the edible shells. I have to plant more to get some myself! Fresh peas and tomatoes are the main reasons to have a garden.

Posted by: GirlScoutMom | June 11, 2009 9:37 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company