Soil and Cellar

Growing and preserving foods in Seattle

Peas: Where are they now?

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Peas that will be ready in a day or two...

Peas on the vine that will be ready in a day or two…

My peas have been producing really well. I have about a dozen plants, all growing around a pyramidal trellis. The few that didn’t look quite right at the start of the year have grown just fine. Phew! It’s possible they’d produce better if they hadn’t had a rough start, but I’m certainly not disappointed with the results.

Peas patiently awaiting their fate... chomp!

Peas patiently awaiting their fate… chomp!

I love snacking peas right off the plant every day. Isn’t it kind of amazing how fast they ripen? I feel like I grab all the ripe ones, and the next day there are 10 more. I like them best when the peas inside the pods are expanding but are not quite touching.

In the garden I test ripeness by touch and general appearance. If I can't decide, I try to see the size of the peas on the inside. This is the size range I'm looking for. (I'm just showing this in my kitchen - normally they are still on the plant).

In the garden I test ripeness by touch and general appearance. If I can’t decide, I try to see the size of the peas on the inside. These two show the size range I’m looking for. (I’m just showing this in my kitchen – normally they are still on the plant).

In the past, I’ve only eaten them straight off the plant or raw in salads. This year I thought I’d use them in a few recipes.

First up: Easy Spring Vegetable Risotto

Baked risotto with chard and peas. Also tasty with roasted asparagus!

Baked risotto with chard and peas. Also tasty with roasted asparagus!

I used Ina Garten’s recipe for Easy Parmesan “Risotto” (here), subbing veggie stock for the chicken stock, and instead of frozen peas put in fresh peas (trimmed and chopped) and some chard (braised in veggie stock until soft). This is one of my new favorite recipes – it is as easy as she says, and comes out wonderful. I expect I’ll make this one for guests soon, as it does most of its cooking in the oven. Yummy!

Next up: Peas and Pods

As simple and fresh as can be: peas, peas, mint, and butter.

As simple and fresh as can be: peas, peas, mint, and butter.

I’ve been holding on to this recipe from Cooking Light since 2008 (!) but hadn’t tried it until now. After trying it the other night, I’ll definitely be making it again. It’s crazy easy, and really fresh and delicious. The mint goes quite well with the peas, a combination I wasn’t sure I’d like.

Recipe

¾ lb snap peas, trimmed
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 Tbsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
Salt, to taste

Steam snap peas, covered, for 2 minutes. Add thawed peas, steam 2 more minutes. Combine all ingredients in bowl, gently toss to coat.

Last: Sauteed Corn Succotash

Corn sauteed with onions and peas. A great summer side dish!

Corn sauteed with onions and peas. A great summer side dish!

I make this corn dish really often in the summer, and this time I added the peas right at the end. It’s really tasty, but I will say I think the sweetness of the corn competes a bit with the sweetness of the peas. I might add something more savory next time, like kale or zucchini. But the results are crisp, bright, and beautiful! (And perfect if you’re hosting a Ducks game day party).

Recipe:

1 Tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
2 ears corn, with kernels cut off
½ lb pea pods, trimmed and sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt butter in pan, and add onion. Cook about 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Add corn, cook for 2 minutes. Add peas, cook for 1 more minute. Add salt and pepper, and serve warm.

And of course, if you only eat the peas raw strait off the plant, I won’t blame you one bit. Enjoy!

One thought on “Peas: Where are they now?

  1. Pingback: August in the Garden | Soil and Cellar

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