9/01/2018

Peas


Small, round juicy seeds encased in a green pod. The three main varieties are the garden peas, the field or grey pea (these are dried and not eaten fresh) and the wild Mediterranean pea. Peas should be cooked quickly in boiling water or a little butter.  They are usually served hot as a vegetable or added to soups and risottos.    

Peas go with baby onions, bacon, duck, ham, mashed potato, risotto.

Varieties:

Mangetouts: These are eaten whole and have a delicate flavor, providing they are not overcooked.  Unfortunately they are easy to overcook ad the texture then becomes rather slippery.  Alternatively blanch or stir-fry them.  They are also good served raw in salads.

Petits Pois: These are not,  as you might expect, immature peas but are arre a dwarf variety.  Gardeners grow their own, but they are not available fresh in the shops as hey are mainly grown commercially for canning or freezing.

Snow peas, sugar peas, sugar snaps:
These have the distinct fresh flavor of raw peas and are more plump and have more snap than mangetouts. 

Buying:
Look for bright, shiny, green pods that feel firm and crisp. Peas can also be purchased frozen, tinned, bottled and dried.  In some cases frozen peas are actually fresher than freshly podded peas because fresh peas deteriorate so quickly.  The frozen pea manufacturers pick and pack the peas at their prime freshness. 

Preparing:
Shelling peas can be very relaxing. Press open the pods and use your thumb to push out the peas.  Mangetouts and sugar peas needed to be topped and tailed. 


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