Thursday, August 26, 2010

Peas with Lemon, Mint, and Scallions

I bookmarked this recipe (and I do mean in an actual book) much earlier in the summer, and I thought my chance to make it with fresh peas from the farmer's market had passed. Luckily for me, one last stand was selling sugar snap peas and I spent a part of my Saturday morning shelling two pounds of peas to get the eight ounces for this recipe, with a little left over to sprinkle over some fresh green salads. They weren't the best sugar snap peas I've had this summer, but when swirled in a rich pool of butter and heavy cream, who can complain? This dish manages to be fresh and rich at the same time, with simple, classic flavors. Although not my favorite Fast, Fresh, and Green recipe by any means, it is a good recipe that will appeal to a wide range of palates.

Peas with Lemon, Mint, and Scallions
from Fast, Fresh, and Green by Susie Middleton
serves 3

Kosher salt
8 oz. shelled green peas (about 2 cups) or frozen peas (about 1.5 cups)
2 T. unsalted butter
4 large scallions (white and light green parts), thinly sliced
1/4 c. heavy cream
2 t. finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 t. packed finely grated lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper

1. If using fresh peas: Fill a large saucepan half full with water and 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Drop the peas into the boiling water and cook until just tender (taste one or two), 2 minutes for smaller peas, 3 minutes for larger, older peas. Begin timing immediately, don't wait for the water to return to a boil. Use a mesh strainer to transfer the peas to a dish towel or a few layers of paper towels to drain. Discard teh water the peas were boiled in, but reserve the pot.

If using frozen peas: Put the peas in a colander and run cold water over them for a few minutes until they're mostly thawed. Spread them out on a few layers of dish towel to drain.

2. Melt the butter in the reserved saucepan over low heat. Add the scallions and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the heavy cream, half of the mint, then lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until it thickens slightly and a wooden spoon lives a wide path when scraped across the bottom of the pan, about 1 minute. Add the peas and stir until they're heated through and well coated with the sauce, 1 minute more. Remove the pan from the heat, taste for salt and pepper, and serve immediately, garnished with the remaining mint.

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