As spring slowly rolls into summer we start to see more than greens at the market! This week I am excited to get some more sugar snap peas. We have been enjoying these delicious pods all week. Our peas, grown by Kris and Adriane of River to River Farm, are crisp and beautiful!
So, what to do with these?
One of the reasons I love sugar snap peas is that one can eat them raw or cooked. We have been eating them raw more than cooked so far this season. Most of the time, we just eat these by the handful – much as you might enjoy popcorn! I should confess, we were watching a BBC show last night and snacked on raw sugar snap peas (we had a large bowl with the washed peas, and a bowl for the discarded tops & strings).
Wether you are eating them raw or cooking them, it is important that you first wash your peas. A quick run under cold water should do the trick. Then you need to peel off the strings. Typically we pinch the top (leafy) part of the pea, snap & peel the thin strings off. To the left is a picture of a whole pea, a pea with the top snapped & partially peeled, and the pea to the right has had the strings removed & both ends snapped. If the peas are less mature (smoother, flatter pods) they might not need their strings removed. Some people also eat the strings, just figure out what works for you & do that!
Another way to eat snap peas is to saute them. This can be done in a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil, wash & dry, take the strings off, and put them in the skillet for a few minutes, turning once.
Magdalen made some for herself to have with lunch the other day, they were super quick & easy (took less than 5 minutes) & delicious. The pea pods were warm and they had a smoother, softer texture, with wonderful juicy pops when eating the warmed pea seeds.
Other folks steam their peas. One word of warning, don’t overcook them! They aren’t as yummy if you do!
Here is a picture of three peas opened up so one can see the seeds: As you can see, the one on the left is the most mature of the three, and the one all the way to the right is the least mature. We like them when they’re right in the middle! Happy picking!