Green Peas, Please

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Green peas are in season and these are not your mushy canned green peas from elementary school cafeteria days, these are the fresh plump and even a little crunchy green peas.  Green peas are one of the most nutritious leguminous vegetables, rich in health benefiting phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.   They are relatively low in calories on comparison with beans, and cowpeas. About a cup of green peas provide only 81 calories, and no cholesterol. Nonetheless, the legumes are a good source of proteins, and soluble as well as insoluble fiber.

If you plan to freeze your fresh peas be sure to blanch them first.  To blanch peas, cook desired amount of fresh sweet peas, snow peas, or sugar snap peas in boiling salted water to cover 1 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice-cold water to stop the cooking process; drain.

 

These recipes may sound a little strange but I promise if you use fresh green peas you will be pleasantly surprised!

Potato Salad with Green Peas

2 pounds red potatoes (about 7 medium)

1 cup shelled green peas

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped chives

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup tarragon vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cracked pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

 

Place potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, partially covered, 25 minutes or until tender. Add green peas; cook 1 minute. Drain; let cool slightly. Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch slices.  Combine the potatoes, green peas, parsley, chives, and basil in a large bowl. Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, and stir with a whisk. Pour over potato mixture, tossing gently to coat.

 

Risotto with Green Peas and Shrimp

2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice

3 cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup minced shallots

1 1/2 cups uncooked short-grain rice

1/3 cup dry white wine

3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup (1/2-inch) diagonally sliced snow peas

1 cup shelled green peas (about 3/4 pound unshelled green peas)

1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

 

Bring clam juice and water to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add shallots, and cook 1 minute. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup juice mixture; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining juice mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of juice mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Stir in shrimp, snow peas, and green peas; cook 4 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and remaining ingredients.

 

Garlicky Green Beans and Peas

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon citrus herb seasoning (Spice Island or Pinch Perfect (no salt))
1 cup fresh green beans
1 cup fresh peas
2 tablespoons diced pimientos
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In medium saucepot, over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until heated through.

Green Peas with Cheese and Herbs

3 quarts water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound fresh or frozen peas, approximately 3 cups
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
4 ounces cheese (ricotta or Swiss), cut into 1/4-inch cubes

In a large covered saucepan over high heat, bring the water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add the peas and cook 1 minute for frozen and 3 to 3 1/2 minutes for fresh. Remove from heat, drain in a colander and immediately plunge the peas into ice cold water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the red wine vinegar, shallot, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk. Add the peas, mint, parsley and cheese and stir to combine. Cover and allow to sit in refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes prior to serving.

Pea Salad Deviled Eggs

12 hard-boiled eggs

½ cup of blanched fresh sweet peas

4 cooked bacon slices, finely chopped

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. minced red onion

2 Tbsp. sour cream

1 Tsp. fresh mint

¼ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper


Slice eggs in half lengthwise; carefully remove yolks, reserving egg whites. Mash together yolks; sweet peas, coarsely chopped; bacon slices, mayonnaise; red onion; sour cream; fresh mint; salt; and pepper. Spoon into egg white halves. Serve immediately, or chill up to 1 hour. MAKES: 2 dozen.

 

Green Pea Pesto

1 cup fresh peas
1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 tsp. salt plus more to taste
1/4 tsp. pepper
1-2 cloves garlic
2-3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a blender or small food processor. Blend until mixture is smooth.  Add about 1/2 a cup of water and mix. Adding more liquid for desired consistency. Serve over hot whole grain noodles and top with Parmesan cheese.