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Give Peas a Chance

Remember that bumper sticker reading: “Visualize whirled peas”? A play on words though it was, it gave me plenty of great ideas for whirled peas — sautéed, steamed, baked, smashed, mashed and mixed with all kinds of other goodies.

Fact of the matter is, my home is never without a bag of peas in my freezer. Just today I needed a quick lunch and that meant yesterday’s potato leek soup and a green salad topped with steamed peas and a sprinkling of feta cheese.

Delicious at breakfast, lunch or dinner, perfect in simple or complex recipes, adding peas to your menu can add flavor, boost good nutrition and save you time when you need something quick. If you like green peas but haven’t ventured beyond a small pile on your plate, I’m happy to introduce you to the many possibilities of peas.

Remember, these ideas work well with fresh or frozen peas:

Although considered a vegetable for cooking, like so many other unsuspecting “vegetables,” our beloved small, round peas are actually the seed-pod of a fruit called Pisum Sativum. During the Middle Ages peas were grown and cultivated in the spring for their dry seeds.

Along with lentils and broad beans, they formed a very important part of the diet for the people of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. During the 17th and 18th centuries, eating tender, young green peas became popular — quite fashionable in France and England. New varieties were developed by the English thus becoming known as English peas, aka “garden” peas.

Eventually, the popular pea spread to North America. By some accounts, Thomas Jefferson grew at least 30 varieties on the grounds of his home in Monticello, Virginia.

As you visualize whirled peas, remember: give peas a chance. Got a people-pleasing pea recipe you’d like to share? Let me know.

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Lebanese Recipes says …

Good post thank you Alana. Peas are quite delicious and nutritious. My favorites are when they're picked fresh, the taste is just amazing. I've also tried some that have been roasted/dried with a tiny bit of salt.. it's not a bad snack at all. Peas on earth! :-)

PTLee25 says …

I love peas and look forward to them fresh from the garden! The from the can mushy way I grew up with is long gone. Thank you for the reminder.

Rebekah says …

I absolutely LOVE peas! I remember loving them ever since I was little. Thanks for these great ideas! I wish every one would give peas a chance!! :)

Dave Beaulieu says …

I like to use peas to offset spicier foods. The peas provide a creamy texture as you eat them, and smooth out the spice in the chorizo.

David Crowley says …

Thanks, I too love peas! As I note in the intro, I made up this Quick Pasta with Peas & Feta in advance of restocking at my local Whole Foods! http://cookingchat.blogspot.com/2008/04/quick-pasta-peas-with-feta.html

Rubye Askenazi says …

I purchased some dry pea soup mix in your bulk area. I have not been able to find a recipe for it any suggestions would be appreciated.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@RUBYE - Most of the items in our bulk department will have instructions to prepare the mixes on the lable. Check with your local store to see if they can give you the instructions!