The solstice is just around the corner, and I had one of my first tastes of the forthcoming season the other day. My sister-in-law Leigh returned from the Farmer’s Market with heavenly fresh peas!
I eat frozen peas in the winter with a fair amount of grace, but I think of them as a completely different vegetable. It’s lovely to savor the real thing once again.
Knowing that mint is a traditional accompaniment to peas we whipped up these buttery minted green pearls. Cooking time may vary slightly depending on the freshness of your peas. With luck they will be super fresh and take very little time.
Fresh Peas with Mint
2 cups shelled peas
several mint leaves, plus more if desired for garnish
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
Place the peas in salted boiling water, and boil for 2 minutes. Drain the peas on ice cubes so they will cool quickly. (Make sure you drain them thoroughly, however!)
Crush the mint leaves a bit (a mortar and pestle do this best, but a fork in a dish will work) to release their oils.
In an 8-inch frying pan melt the butter. Add the drained peas and the salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minute, shaking or GENTLY stirring. Throw in the bruised mint leaves and cook for another minute, again mixing carefully.
Place the peas in a bowl and serve. Garnish with fresh mint if you like. Serves 4.
By the way, we have a winner for this month’s book drawing. Anthony Daniel of East Haven, Connecticut, has won the memoir Never Trust a Thin Cook, courtesy of the University of Minnesota Press. Congratulations, Anthony! A new drawing will be announced in July.