Saturday, July 7, 2012

Peas, fresh from the field

My parents will look at that blog post title, turn to each other and say: "What? Sher eats peas? When did this transpire? Has someone else take over her blog and is posting about this most unsavory [to her] vegetable?" (I somehow envision them reading this blog together, very cozy-like. Makes perfect sense to me.)

While it is true that the lowly green pea and I were not exactly friends in childhood (though the relationship was nowhere near as contentious as with beets), somewhere along the way my heart and tastebuds softened toward these sweet green orbs. They are probably not the first vegetable I reach for when thinking of a side dish, but I do not have to spend hours eating them one by one in a forkful of mashed potatoes, or slide them gently into my napkin for later disposal.

And fresh? Well, fresh makes all the difference. I can't think of a single fruit or vegetable where I would say: "Let's freeze/can that first, and the flavor will be better!" So it makes sense that with peas it is the same: from the garden (even eating while standing IN the garden) is best.

This year our 15 acres around the house are in peas. I don't know quite where the idea for that originated, but I think the farmer who leases our land approached husband with the thought and so it began. I was quite supportive of the idea, and watching the field go from brown to green shoots to blossoms to pods has been lovely. I've picked quite a few and shelled them, and picked a few with a girlfriend too--I think her family devoured them as the peas left the shell, not cooking any. That's fresh!

Yesterday I was working from home and when the doorbell rang I mistakenly thought the already-late delivery had arrived. But no, it was something much better--our farmer, on the front steps with a bucket of peas. He knew I had been watching and waiting and then picking, and since our field is now past picking and waiting to dry down for seed, he brought me some from another just-harvested field. Sweet!

The question is, what to make? The options are many, and luckily, I have more than a few cups of peas, so I think this week will be all peas, all the time.

I am considering...


And then there's Food52's spring contest for the best pea recipe, which brings up many additional good options, like a ragout of peas and artichokes (which is sadly lacking a picture, but sounds good), pocorn peas, and a lovely lemony carbonara pasta with peas. All definitely contenders.

And then there's the dish suggested a couple of weeks back by a food-loving friend and coworker... peas with paneer. 

Hmmm... What to make, what to make? Any thoughts?

Let me know which one would be first on your list! I just might make it and bring some to you... well, the "you"s that live within a 50 mile radius, that is!


  1. We are reading your blog posts for the past two days, all cozy-like, still in bed early Sunday morning in Calgary.

    It is beautiful and warm here delightful.

    Your post on peas does elicit a smile and a soft chuckle here. We love it! And we do understand the changes that happen to the pallet over time.

    I have a marvellous pea salad recipe at home that has jicama in...don't remember the ingredients exactly but will send later. It is so fresh and so crisp and so tasty...oh, I believe it also has peanuts in it. You would love it.

    So nice to share a 'pea' recipe with you, my dear girl.

  2. I wonder if a smash pea/garbanzo blend hummus might be good. I'm all about the hummus (and anything creamy, lately) so I couldn't help but ponder that.

    And I think it's incredibly cool that you have access to a farm that someone else tends! I love gardening, but I wouldn't mind it if there was a giant spot of *something* growing nearby that someone else was tending and that I might be able to dip into from time to time.

  3. I hated peas when I was a kid, too. In fact, I'd secretly spit them out when we had vegetable beef soup and then throw them at my brother later. However...these peas look amazing!


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