As a kid, I hated green peas.
Firstly because they where green and secondly because they where a vegetable (although they’re botanically a fruit).
Nowadays I don’t mind them, especially if they are garden fresh.
Peas are a small, spherical seed encased in a green seed-pod. There’s about 6-9 seeds in each pod.
They grow on vine-like shoots which can be grown most of the year but really thrive in the cooler months of Spring.
My wife often pants peas and when they are in season we pick them on a daily bases.
There’s something special about cracking the pods open and eating the fresh peas straight from the garden.
There’s a few different varieties available such as dried split peas which are simmered and used to make soups or a mushy pea mash, Snow Peas and Sugar Snap Peas are a couple of varieties which are eaten fresh, pod-and-all in stir fries or salads.
Petits Pois are normal green peas which are harvested young and tiny, then steamed or boiled as a vegetable.
The immature shoots of the pea plant can be picked while tender and used in Asian stir fries.
I once saw dried peas coated in Wasabi and eaten a snack food (kind of like peanuts).
Peas are also sold frozen or tinned, but I don’t really like them because they aren’t as firm as the freshly harvested peas.
Green Pea Risotto
This is my favourite risotto recipe. Some people find it’s fluorescent green colour a little confronting, however they quickly become fans after their first taste.
- 25ml olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 200g frozen peas
- 850ml chicken or vegetable stock, hot
- 175g aborio rice
- 100ml dry white wine
- 25g parmesan, grated
- salt and pepper
- 30g pea shoots
- extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle
- Fry onion with olive oil in a saucepan until tender, add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Meanwhile, puree 100g peas into a food processor with a 100ml stock.
- Add rice to the onion, increase heat and sizzle the rice for 1 minute.
- Add the wine, then simmer until completely absorbed.
- Continue ladles of stock one at a time, allowing it to absorb and stirring continuously until the rice is tender and has a good creamy consistency.
- Stir in the puréed peas, and the remaining whole peas.
- Add parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve in shallow bowls and top with some pea shoots and a drizzle of olive oil.