Published November 1, 2009.
To play up this legume’s sweet, delicate flavors, we began by skipping the heavy sauce.
Frozen peas have already been blanched, so the key is not overdoing them and creating inspired dishes that don’t interfere with their convenience.
We wanted to turn frozen peas into simple side dishes that resonated complex, sweet flavor.
To build up the peas’ sweet, grassy taste, we sweated minced shallot and garlic in oil, then added our peas and broth to the mix. Since frozen peas have already been parcooked, just five minutes of simmering was all that was needed to produce bright green, tender peas.
We found that a pat of butter stirred in after the peas finished simmering contributed body without drowning them in fat, while a generous dose of chopped fresh mint provided a nice aromatic complement. A healthy squirt of lemon juice stirred into the peas just before serving rounded out the flavors, and a smidge of sugar added to the broth brought everything into balance. Our final tweak was switching from a saucepan to a skillet to ensure the peas heated a tad more quickly and evenly across its larger surface.
With this recipe as a starting point, the variations came easily. Peas paired nicely with leeks and a modest amount of cream in one option, while another with ham and chives offered a nice dose of sweet and salty. Other favorite combinations included earthy thyme and mushrooms; fresh fennel; and a Thai-inspired version with coconut milk and bright cilantro.list of recipes