Don’t Be A Green Pea-Hater!

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Sweet green peas mark the beginnings of the bounty of spring produce. Peas are great for virtually any vegetarian dish, and they also add a pop of freshness to meaty main dishes and starchy sides. Green peas are a tiny powerhouse of nutrition, they are low in calories in comparison with beans, and contain healthy amounts of fiber. They are rich in B-vitamins, and Vitamin C, both are well known for fighting infection, preventing colds and flu, and building up disease resistance.

So toss those sweet green peas into most any dish to add a snap of sweetness. From pasta e piselli to hummus, to a summer green pea salad, give these recipes a try and turn your pea-hater into a pea-lover!!

Summer Green Pea Salad
4 cups shelled fresh young green peas
3 tablespoons garlic-flavored olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the peas and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until just tender. Drain the peas and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the oil and vinegar, and toss to thoroughly coat the peas. Set them aside to cool to room temperature. When you are ready to serve the salad, gently stir in the bell peppers, red onion, scallions, basil, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Green Peas with Herbs and Cheese
(Adapted from an Alton Brown recipe)
3 quarts water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound fresh peas, 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 Swiss cheese, 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. Serves 4.
Fresh Green Pea Hummus
1 cup Peas, green, raw
1/2 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, ground

Combine green peas, chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor.
Process until completely smooth, at least 4-5 minutes. Serve with veggie sticks or crackers.

Noodles with Peas (Pasta e Piselli)
Adapted from a Romeo Salta recipe
3 cups peas, fresh (or frozen)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 slices bacon, diced
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 lb. pasta, such as fettuccini
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1⁄4 tsp. sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine peas, butter, bacon, onion, and 3⁄4 cup water in a 12″ skillet over medium-high.
Cook until water has evaporated and peas are cooked, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil; add pasta, and cook until al dente, 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup water.

Add pasta, water, Parmesan, sugar, salt, and pepper to skillet with peas and toss to coat.
Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

Homemade Pad Thai with Asparagus and Peas
(For the adventurous)
8 oz. thin flat rice noodles
1⁄3 cup packed light brown sugar
1⁄4 cup fish sauce
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. tamarind paste
1 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
2 tbsp. peanut oil
1⁄2 cup finely chopped green garlic
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 oz. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
3⁄4 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1⁄4 cup minced cilantro
2 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
Lime wedges, for serving

In a large bowl, cover the noodles with warm tap water and let stand until soft, about 20 minutes. Pour the noodles into a colander and let drain while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar with the fish sauce, vinegar, and tamarind paste. Bring to a simmer over medium-low, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in chile flakes.

In a large wok or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add both garlics, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the eggs, and then stir to scramble them until nearly cooked, 2 minutes. Stir in the asparagus and peas, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the drained noodles and reserved sauce, and cook, tossing, until the liquid has been absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer to a large platter and sprinkle the peanuts, cilantro, and radishes over the top. Serve immediately with lime wedges. Serves 4.

Jasmine Rice
2 tablespoons olive
2 tablespoons chopped
1/4 cup green peas
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups dry jasmine rice
3 cups water
Salt to taste

In a large saucepan over a medium-low heat, warm the oil. Add onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in green peas, bay leaf, and jasmine rice. Stir to coat the rice.

Pour 3 cups water into the saucepan and add the salt. Increase the heat to medium and let the rice come to a quick simmer. Reduce heat to low and let rice simmer lightly and sit uncovered until all of the liquid is absorbed. Cover the rice and remove from heat, let sit approximately 40 minutes. Serves 4.

Written By

Photo of Tammy Kelly, Ed. DTammy Kelly, Ed. DCounty Extension Director (252) 527-2191 tammy_kelly@ncsu.eduLenoir County, North Carolina
Updated on Jun 9, 2017
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