I’ll Have Some Peas Please

I know I am a very strange person, some would argue in many ways too. Right now though, I am only talking about my love of peas. There is not nearly enough time to discuss all my other strange ways. 🙂

I have always LOVED peas. I could easily eat a pound of cooked peas with butter and salt and be a very happy camper. I remember one time my parents and I had gone out to a fancy restaurant when I was just a little thing, and all I wanted was a big bowl of buttered peas. The waiter looked at me in total surprise and shock. I just can’t understand why so many people have such an aversion to them and hate them so much.

The pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the pod fruit Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas, which can be green or yellow. Botanically, pea pods are fruit, since they contain seeds and develop from the ovary of a flower. Peas are members of the legume family and are very healthy and nutritious. One cup of boiled green peas has 46% of your RDA of vitamin K-1, known for maintaining bone health and helping blood to clot to prevent bleeding. Peas are high in fiber and low in fat and contain no cholesterol. Plus, they’re a good source of vegetable protein. A type of legume, peas grow inside long, plump pods. As is the case with all types of legume, their sugars start to turn to starch as shortly after they’re picked, so they are best eaten just-picked. Frozen peas are put on ice very soon after being picked (within three hours) and the flavor can be superior to that of fresh peas harvested a couple of days previously. Peas are best when they are fresh, but most of us pea lovers who live in urban areas eat frozen peas, which we can get year round. But if buying them fresh, pea season is from May-November.

Peas and Pea Pods

There are three common types of peas, the English peas, also known as shelling peas, where the edible peas are found on the inside of the pods and the pods are inedible; snow peas, which are flat pods with smaller peas inside and you eat the whole thing, pod and all; and snap peas that are a combination of both the English peas and snap peas. Their pods are tender and edible and the peas inside the pod are larger, full sized peas. My favorites are the English peas, (maybe that is just the Aussie in me) although I love them all.

We hadn’t had any fish for awhile, and I took some cod out of the freezer. Larry said he wanted fish & chips, which I am always up for. Well peas and fish & chips just go together beautifully, and we haven’t had any peas in quite awhile either. So I knew peas were going to be served up alongside the fish & chips, though I wanted something a little different than just plain peas. As I was looking through my library collection of cookbooks, I was really surprised to see that in all my vegetarian/vegan cookbooks, there were NO recipes for peas. WHAT????? Do vegetarians and vegans NOT eat peas? I was shocked at this, considering how healthy they are. Finally though, I did find a really good recipe that actually was already paired up with cod. It was just meant to be.

I made an herbed pea relish. The recipe called for fresh oregano, but maybe because it is Thanksgiving, I could not find fresh oregano anywhere. That’s OK. That is exactly why I always have a wide array of dried herbs in my pantry. Dried herbs work just as well as fresh herbs.

Herbed Pea Relish

2 cups frozen green peas

1 1/2 TBSP fresh oregano, chopped or about 1 TBSP of dried oregano

1 large shallot, minced

2 TBPS capers

2 TBSP lime juice

2 TBSP olive oil

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together, except the peas. The cook it all in a hot skillet for about 7-10 minutes, or until the peas are completely cooked.

As the peas are cooking, in a separate skillet, in hot oil, cook your battered fish and cook your chips. We cook our chips in a deep fryer.

When everything is cooked, it is time to serve it up. Spoon the pea relish over the fried cod and sit down to a proper British meal. I served it with a dry viognier on the side to complete the meal. Cheers and Bon Appetit!

Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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