I was thinking about how much I really love peas this morning after describing in detail all the things I ate last night while out celebrating Rick Smith’s birthday (without Rick). With my Korubuta pork were some pink eyed peas that were so good I had so order more of them. So it got me wondering, what peas are your favorites? How do you prepare them at home?

I like to use them to catch polar bears:

First you cut a big hole in the ice. Then you sprinkel peas all around it, so when the polar bear walks up to take a pea you kick him right in the ice hole.

Raw English Peas.

As a kid, there were two foods that also acted as babysitters for me and my sister: lobster bodies (10 cents each) and giant bags of English Peas. We would sit and work through them with mindless automation.

Who served up your pinkeyes, John?

There’s a great field pea (cowpea) thread on the other board, for those with access.

My favorites are purple hull pinkeyes, lady peas, white acre peas, and zipper creams. I usually cook them with a bit of bacon (sometimes butter for lady and white acre varieties) and onion, and put a few whole okra pods on top.

We were at Eugene last night, Bob. It was a nice meal.

[rofl.gif] Nice. And helpful. [rofl.gif]

That would have been my guess.

Speaking of which, my garden produced the first mature snap pea today.

You guys with your pink eyes, make sure you wash your hands. [swearing.gif]

Joe ,

The last two yrs I have been trying to grow snap peas, which I like better than snow peas, but they aren’t germinating ( Bummed ). I think my soil may have to much nitrogen…


I have never needed to do so, but you can pre-germinate peas very quickly. Even after sprouting, I get a 50% death rate in my pea plants. The ones that survive tend to be very healthy. As such, I don’t thin out my pea plants, I just let them figure it out on their own.

IMO, snow peas are only about the pod, so I don’t bother.

With fresh english peas (cooked in boiling water for a few minutes), this is a simple and very good pasta recipe from marcella hazan:

  • Boil water and start cooking 1 pound of conghile shaped pasta (small shells), but fusili or penne work as well
  • In a skillet, lightly brown 1/4 chopped thick cut bacon at medium heat to let the fat render out (don’t get it too crispy). Pour off fat but keep 2 tbsp or so in the pan
  • Turn off the heat in the skillet and stir in the peas and let sit
  • In a large bowl, add 1/4 cup or so of ricotta cheese and 1.5 tbsp butter broken into pieces
  • Drain pasta and add it to the large bowl and mix
  • Add the bacon/pea mixture to the large bowl and stir
  • Add 1 cup grated
  • Add more a couple turns of pepper
  • Serve with more parm

Great with any sangiovese or nebbiolo based wine.

This also works great with frozen peas, but the fresh ones give it an extra shine.

My favoritie is Risi e bisi (rice and peas) using fresh peas.
It is a classic Venetian dish; I am sure you can find recipes all over the internets. It is a traditional dish served for feasts on St,. Mark’s Day (April 25th).
Here’s a recipe that is quite good:

Not only do you need fresh peas but the dish must remain somewhat soupy.
I have memories of a wonderful risi e bisi served at Antica Carbonera in Venezia. Paired with a Schiopetto Pinot Bianco.
A meal that inspires one to write sonnets.

Robert, thanks for the reminder about the field peas thread (one of the few things I truly regret about not being able to visit That Other Place) and for the sample of authentic Georgia field peas you sent. Those sure were good.

When I think of green peas two things come to mind – one is Daniel Boulud’s pea soup which we had at the DB Bistro Moderne several years ago. Fabulous fresh tasting stuff, I bought his cookbook mainly to get access to that recipe. The other is Keller’s Peas and Carrots – for which you have to find baby pea shoots which, at the right season, are sold in copious amounts by Chinese groceries. I have no idea what the Chinese are doing with those but they sure give a nice pea flavor to the Keller dish.

Stir-fried with garlic is how I usually see them in Chinese restaurants here. Absolutely delicious, although usually pretty pricy.

Steamed fresh shell peas and tossed them with a little butter, salt and fresh mint the other night. Terrific.