Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Glimpse of Spring - Peas with Mint



After a record breaking snowy February, we've been smiling and happy in Ohio the past few days at the appearance of the sun and relatively balmy temperatures - 50's today in Akron.

A trip to the West Side Market on Friday netted the above haul.  As I was leaving the vegetable arcade, one of my vendor buddies yelled to me that he had "English beans".  That was a new one to me, so I asked him to show me.  He produced a fresh English pea, and split it open to reveal the contents.  One dollar a pound.   (I saw another sign on the way for "English Beans"; must have been what was on the box at the terminal).

I bought two pounds and it took me about 15 minutes to pop them out of their shells, and I got about 2 1/2 cups for my trouble. A few were sporting little sprouty tails, but most were small to medium and perfectly sized. 

I usually grab some fresh mint, and I had a spare leek, so I based my Smashed Peas with Mint roughly on a recipe from Martha's site, and adjusted for what I had on hand and bearing in mind my Weight Watchers points.

Ahh, so springy.  Now if asparagus would only appear.

Smashed Fresh Peas with Mint

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 pounds fresh English peas, shelled and rinsed
1 leek, white and light green parts only, sliced and cleaned
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper
Splash of Dry Vermouth
2 T. water
1. T. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. fresh mint, chopped


Heat oil in med saucepan over low heat.  Saute leek, shallot, and garlic until soft, but not browned. Season with salt and pepper.  Add peas and heat through about 5 minutes.  Deglaze pan with a splash of vermouth.

Transfer to food processor and pulse to roughly smash with 2 tablespoons of water and 1 t. oil.  Remove half and process the remaining until a little smoother than the first half.  Combine and toss with dill.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

*If you aren't weight watching, add some butter, ricotta, fresh goat cheese, etc.  Something to make them a little more creamy.  As is, the recipe is kinda nice and chunky.

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