Emerald Pearls

Fresh peas are a delicious, if fleeting, spring and early summer vegetable. Not to be confused with Asian snow peas or the edible podded snap peas, English peas must be shucked from their pods before using. Freshness is the most important consideration when buying them at the grocery store or farmer’s market as they quickly lose their sweet flavor soon after picking. When you do find a batch of tender, sweet peas, consider buying more than you need and freezing them for later. For a super simple recipe idea, try this:

English Peas from Watanabe Farm

Blanch a cup of peas in boiling salted water until tender. Drain the peas and plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking. When the peas are cool, remove them from the water and place them in a small mixing bowl. Roughly mash the peas using a fork until you have a very rough puree. Season the peas with salt, freshly ground pepper, some chopped fresh mint, and a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil. Spread the mashed peas on grilled, garlic rubbed bread , crackers, or toasted baguette. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve. For slightly sexier version, try adding strips of prosciutto or speck.

Grilled bread with smashed peas