The pea is just about the most perfect food to get your really young children interested in finger food that’s good for them while simultaneously being perfect for them to flick at their siblings. Peas are great sources of vitamin A, C, thiamine, foliate, iron, and phosphorus and one pound of peas in a pod equal approx 1 cup of shelled which equals about 120 calories.
Fresh is always best so look for pea pods that are firm and bright green. Forget the really large pods, as those peas tend to be somewhat starchy. You’ll need about a pound for every cup of peas you want. As peas age after being picked, the sugar content turns to starch, making the peas less sweet, it’s best to use them within a day or two of buying them.
While I’m advocating using regular shelled peas in the recipes below you can, for the most part substitute snow peas or sugar snap pea if the recipe doesn’t call for the peas to be pureed. All peas (shelled, snow, sugar-snap) can be prepared with just a little water or broth. The less liquid you use and the less time you cook them, the less vitamins are lost in the cooking process.
HOW TO COOK FRESH PEAS
I like really crispy fresh peas so this is how I cook them when I’m serving them as a side dish.
For a pound of peas bring 3 cup of water/broth to a boil. Add a pinch salt to the water and then dump in the peas. Remove the peas from the heat and let them sit in the water for about 60 seconds (longer if you want them softer) and then drain them in a colander. Place in a serving bowl and serve. Serves 4.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.