Fresh Peas Are Summertime Ambrosia

While frozen peas are a year-round staple, fresh shelling peas are a fleeting treat with a sweet, delicate flavor that deserves to be treated simply.

Jamie Oliver's smashed peas and fava beans on toast is "my absolute favorite dish with peas," says PoppiYYZ. "Made with raw peas and beans, this dish will blow your socks off. It is one of the very best things I've ever eaten." Isolda makes a similar treat: "Cook your peas, mash them with olive oil (lots) and salt. Spread on grilled bread that you have rubbed with a clove of garlic, top with mint, a little Manchego and a drop or two of balsamic vinegar. Serve to your very happy guests."

A favorite salad of PAO's is blanched fresh peas, crisp diced bacon, lightly browned sliced button mushrooms, and sliced green onions dressed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, a dash of Tabasco, and salt and pepper; serve warm or at room temperature. "I love peas mashed up with mint and olive oil, perfect with lamb or fish," says pj26. "I also make a pea, broad bean, and asparagus salad, mixed through with mint, olive oil, lemon juice, and feta or goat's cheese. It's summer on a plate!"

"I put them over pasta with crumbled bacon and cream. Not low-calorie, but oh-so-tasty," says sunshine842. magiesmom is a fan of linguine with pea pesto. Puréed soup is a classic vehicle for showing off fresh peas; CHOW's recipe can be served hot or chilled.

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