Peas, green

Peas, green

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

Although fresh green peas may be found throughout most of the year, they are really at their best in spring. Freshly picked while still young and small, they have a sweetness and delicacy perhaps best appreciated when the peas are served on their own, as a separate course, although spring peas also make a good accompaniment to spring lamb or veal. The very tiniest peas are what the French call petits pois.

Since about half the weight of the peas is in the pods, allow 1 kg fresh peas for 4 servings. Peas may be shelled in advance, but wrap them in a damp cloth or cover them with their pods so they do not lose their moisture. A few pea pods may be cooked with the peas for added flavour, and if they are young and fresh, pea pods can be made into a soup.

Generally, the younger and fresher the peas, the less cooking time they will need. Older peas are still tasty if cooked slowly with additional flavourings, such as ham or herbs. Frozen and tinned peas may not equal fresh peas in flavour, but they make up for this in convenience. Their flavour can be improved by treating them in ways similar to those for fresh peas.

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