Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sauteed Peas with Shallot and Mint

Everyone has one...a vegetable that you remember being forced to eat as a child.  For me it was raw tomatoes and I have vivid memories sitting by myself for hours after everyone else had been excused from the dinner table.  The house was bustling in every room but the kitchen, where I sat in deafening silence, still perched in front of a lonesome single slice of raw tomato staring back at me.  Haunting me.  I knew I could watch The Love Boat and Fantasy Island with the rest of the family if I could just stomach the tomato, but I never could.

For many people that vegetable was peas, and while most individuals eventually enjoy their once dreaded vegetable, peas continues to be one vegetable that many either love or hate.  Since the emergence of farmer's markets, produce stands, and community supported agricultural (CSA) farms, peas are making their comeback.  Ready or not, we are looking at more peas and maybe even more varieties than you have been accustomed to seeing.  With such attractive produce on the stands and being handed to you in your CSA basket, the question becomes what to do with them.  While I think they might be perfect with melted butter, salt, and pepper, I realize that might be considered child's play.  This Sauteed Peas with Shallot and Mint is an adult way to serve and eat your peas.  It's the spruced up version of plain buttered peas that makes getting your green vegetable quota easier than ever before.

This recipe as stated highlights the peas sweet and delicate flavor, therefore the peas are not smothered in a heavy sauce or hidden between spirals of pasta. The original recipe calls for frozen peas, which should not be thawed prior to cooking. Be careful not to overcook them since they have been blanched before packaging. This recipe is simple on purpose. If you are using a convenience item like frozen peas, then keeping it easy and convenient is the whole point. However, fresh peas can be substituted. Since they have not been blanched prior to sauteing, the cooking time will increase just slightly.

Sauteed Peas with Shallot and Mint
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2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small shallot, minced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 pound frozen peas (3 cups)
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1.  Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes.  Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2.  Stir in peas, broth, and sugar.  Cover and cook until peas are bright green and just heated through, 3-5 minutes.  Add mint and butter and toss until incorporated.  Remove pan from heat; stir in lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper as desired; serve immediately.

Recipe from Cook's Illustrated


laura said...

love a fast vegie recipe that starts with frozen vegies - some nights that's all I have time for :-) I will be trying this one for sure!

Mamahollioni said...

Couldn't agree more Laura.