Remember back when we were kids and we hated peas? Naturally it was a given that we wouldn't eat them if they were just served to us on a plate. But we also always had to be on red alert in case the offensive green orbs were hiding in our pot pies. Thus, any casserole type dish had to be carefully disassembled and the evil peas removed. We were so stupid.
Peas are delicious. They're sweet and tender and a wonderful canvas for herbs and spices. Try them with some fresh dill and copious amounts of pepper. Peas love pepper! They can be pureed into a spread, made into soup, served warm as a side dish or cold as a salad. I love a versatile vegetable and what I love even more is that they're super fast to prepare.
I pretty much have bags of frozen peas in my freezer year round. And now I'm one of those adults that puts them in stews and pot pies. In fact, they cook so quickly that they can just go into a hot stew at the last minute or frozen into a pot pie just as it goes into the oven. What could be easier?
So I use them year round and probably take them for granted. But spring is when I learn to really appreciate the loveliness of peas all over again. Because I temporarily set aside my bags of frozen peas and treat myself to the beautiful fresh spring peas in the market. Yes, they need to be shelled but it's an easy job and this is the time when I serve them as the main attraction with plenty of seasoning. Here I've added the citrus notes of sumac and balanced the sweetness of the peas with the sharp tang of feta cheese. Thank goodness I grew up and learned to enjoy peas.
- 1 lb. fresh peas (shelled)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic (peeled and finely minced)
- 1/4 teaspoon sumac (or to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Shell the peas and add them to the boiling water, reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Add the olive oil and minced garlic to a large saute pan or skillet. Saute for about a minute, just until the garlic is translucent but be careful not to burn it. Add the cooked peas and toss to coat and warm the peas. Season with the sumac, salt and pepper.
Serve warm with the crumbled feta cheese on top.