A minted pea purée on your plate is like a breath of spring no matter what time of year you make it. The vibrant green color and the scent of the fresh mint make this a great accompaniment to many dishes.
Do not mistake pea purée for mushy peas. This recipe is made using fresh or frozen garden peas and fresh mint which are cooked quickly and mashed or puréed. Mushy peas are dried marrowfat peas that undergo a long, slow cook with bicarbonate of soda to make the peas swell and burst into a "mush."
Pea purée is a delicious side dish to serve with almost all meat and fish dishes. It is particularly lovely with oily fish such as smoked mackerel fishcakes. For a vegetarian alternative, try the purée spread on toast as an appetizer or side dish.
- 2 cups water
- 10 1/4 ounces/300 grams garden peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- Salt (to taste)
- Black pepper (to taste)
- Optional: 1 tablespoon butter
- Optional: fresh mint leaves (chopped)
Gather the ingredients.
Add the water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add the peas, fresh mint, and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the peas are tender, about 5 minutes.
Drain the peas and mint.
Using an immersion blender, quickly purée the peas and mint to create a smooth paste. If you don't have an immersion blender, use a food processor instead or mash the peas well with a potato masher or fork. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
You can use the peas in rough purée form, but if you want a very fine, smooth purée, push the mixture through a fine sieve.
Stir in the butter and chopped mint leaves (if using) until all the butter has melted and is incorporated into the purée.
Serve minted pea purée warm alongside your favorite meat or fish dish.
- The season for fresh peas is short in Britain and Ireland (typically from May to October) so make the most of them while you can. Even though they take a little longer because they need to be shelled, fresh peas are worth the effort.
- Outside the season, use frozen peas as they also make a lovely purée and are so much quicker to use.
- The pea purée will freeze well but use within one month. Defrost in the refrigerator before using.
- For added flavor, cook the peas in vegetable or chicken stock rather than plain water.
- Experiment with other herbs. Mint is, of course, the classic, but tarragon or winter savory also works well. Or replace half of the mint with another herb for a mix.