To me, the arrival of peas represents a sort of rite of passage from spring to summer. They're one of the first veggies to arrive on the scene as one begins to wonder, "just how many greens can/should one person eat?" Yeah, I know peas are green, but they're sweet, crispy goodness is a totally different experience from the spring greens, which are the first veggies to arrive on the scene at farmers' markets and in CSA shares.
I know we were thrilled to see sugar snap peas on the "pick your own" board at our CSA last week. Since then, we've enjoyed them prepared a variety of different ways. Raw off the plant in the garden (does it get any better than that?). Then in a risotto, a very close second (and the perfect comfort food on these rainy New England evenings). My standard risotto recipe can be found here. I use this as my "base" and tweak it according to what I have on hand (or to achieve the flavor I'm aiming for).
This time I omitted the saffron, but added 1/4 pound of prosciutto sliced into 1/2" pieces when I added the onions. This allows the flavor of the prosciutto to permeate the other ingredients (can you say, YUM)! The other change I made was to add about 1 cup of sugar snapped peas (cut into thirds) with the last ladle of stock. This really was one of my best meals ever IMHO. Restaurant quality. The poor lighting doesn't even begin to show how good and gorgeous this dish really is.
The other new pea recipe I tried this past week was
Sauteed Sugar Snap Peas with Carrots and Ginger/Honey Glaze. This recipe was courtesy of Holiday Brook Farms' CSA Newsletter as taken from Farmer John’s Cookbook, The Real Dirt on Vegetables: Seasonal Recipes and Stories from a Community Farm.
½-1lb sugar snap peas
2 medium carrots, peeled [I used half a package of baby carrots]
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp honey
A couple pieces crystallized ginger, chopped fine (about 1-2 Tbsp, to taste) [I used grated fresh ginger]
Fresh ground pepper
Remove strings from both edges of the pea pods. Cut each carrot into thirds and slice lengthwise so that they are about the same size as the pea pods. Place carrots in a steamer basket and steam until just crisp-tender, 3-5 minutes. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the peas; cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add the carrots. Continue to cook until peas are bright green, about 3 minutes. Add the honey & ginger and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly, until the peas and carrots are glazed. Season with pepper to taste.
I'll be adding both these recipes to my recipe box. Hope you enjoy them too!