Fresh Peas, An Ephemeral Pleasure

Fresh shelling peas are a fleeting luxury, in season for a short while. They are best used in simple preparations that allow their flavor to shine. You can add them raw to salads or simply cook in boiling water for a few minutes, drain, and add butter.

Peas with lettuce is a classic French dish. Gio sautés the thinly sliced white part of a few green onions in butter until they're softened, adds 2 cups shredded lettuce and cooks for a minute, adds a pound of shelled peas and 1/4 cup chicken stock, and cooks uncovered until most of the stock is gone. Finish by stirring in the sliced green tops of the green onions.

Cherylptw puts quartered red or white potatoes and chopped onions in a pot of water or vegetable broth and simmers until the potatoes are almost fork tender. Stir in peas, salt and pepper, fresh thyme, and a pat of butter. Cook another couple of minutes, then spoon into bowls with some of their juices. Serve with a biscuit or a wedge of cornbread.

Fresh peas make a great base for dips, like this fresh pea hummus and this pea dip with Parmesan. enbell suggests this fresh pea soup, and Dan G makes pea and mint risotto often while fresh peas are in season.

Discuss: Wow, peas! Now what?

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