So many wonderful things happen by accident.
Like when I thought I was scooping up handful after handful of sugar snap peas at the Farmer's market for my Saturday dinner at the recent Farmhouse Retreat.
My own urban-patio-garden of sugar snap peas had just begun to flourish, so I naturally assumed the "peas" at the market must also be similar sugar snap peas. Silly me. Clearly, a more logical answer was that they were regular peas: just like the sign said.
I realized this quickly when it was difficult to peel and trim the ends. Instead, they easily popped open to reveal fat and sweet peas inside the pod.
What now?! I was going to make a crunchy sesame sugar snap pea side dish to go with my BBQ dinner. What to do with a small bowl of fresh peas?
The only thing I could think of was Top Chef, Season 5, when Carla Hall made a perfect dish of buttered peas to woo the judges in a "Last Supper" elimination challenge. I remembered praises of simplicity and perfect seasoning.
So that's what I did. Blanched in salt water. A dollop of butter. A little more salt. A squeeze of lemon.
Perfection. Devoured in seconds. What a lovely accident.
Ontario's growing season seems to be a little late this year; it was a doozy of a winter! But fresh peas should be around at farmer's markets for a little longer!
Go buy a pint or two. Find some
friends to help shuck them. Blanche. Butter. Salt. Lemon. Add to your plate of spaghetti ala vodka if you want.
It's a little taste of spring even in the sweltering heat of summer.
Buttered Spring Peas
Serves 2-4 as a side dish
1 pint fresh peas in their pod
1. Shuck the peas. Eat a couple to marvel at their sweetness.
2. Bring a small pot of salted water to boil.
3. Add peas to boiling water.
4. Drain when all the peas have started to float. If you prefer them less al dente then wait a minute or two after they've begun to float. I like them al dente.
5. Add a tablespoon of butter. Taste and season with salt (you'll be surprised how much salt they may need).
6. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top.