Is spring almost over?
We've been really spoiled in Boston this year. We had the mildest winter I've ever experienced (I think it snowed once or twice the entire winter?). Since then, we've had this long, drawn-out period with reasonably mild temperatures.
It's June now, yet it still feels refreshingly spring-like outside.
Nevertheless, there are rumblings that the sweltering heat will come soon enough. Perhaps I better share with your my recent spring vegetable escapades before it becomes too late!
I'm a huge, huge fan of fresh English peas. I first tried fresh peas from a pod at a farmers market in Kendall a couple years ago. The farmer just handed me a pod and showed me how to eat them, raw.
They were so, so good. Fresh, sweet, and definitively crunchy.
The other day I picked up a package of freshly shelled peas from the market.
I wanted something light, reasonably unadorned, yet bursting with natural flavor.
I ended up making a simple side dish of peas with fresh mint, which perfectly hit the spot.
The mint adds a lovely fragrant, floral note to this dish. Chop it up finely, maximizing the amount of flavor from the herbs.
Quickly blanch the peas in boiling water. I would cook it for 1 minute and then taste test it. If you like the crunchier (not mushy) mouth feel of fresh peas, I would err on the shorter cooking time. Once finished, throw the peas into an ice bath. This will stop the cooking process (you don't want them to turn mushy!) and preserve that gorgeous, bright green color.
Saute the peas in a saucepan with a little bit of butter and oil (I didn't really measure, but maybe I added 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of oil?). Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally, throw in chopped mint.
Fresh Peas with Mint
inspired by the Amateur Gourmet and White on Rice Couple,
Note: this is a really, really flexible recipe, and the amounts below are just guidelines. Feel free to add more oil, butter, salt, pepper, etc. depending on your preference!
2 cups fresh peas, removed from pod
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
handful of fresh mint, finely chopped (about 2-3 tablespoons)
Blanche the shelled beans in boiling water for about 1-2 minutes. Cool immediately in an ice bath and filter. Over medium heat, melt butter and oil together. Add peas and cook for about 1 minute (until hot). Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss in mint at the end and stir.
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