Hey Sugar (Snap), Whatcha Up to Tonight?
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!
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