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Ten Ways to Eat Fresh Peas and Beans!

By Allison Kociuruba, May 5, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Allison Kociuruba
Spring and early summer are the easiest times to boost your intake of fresh green veggies. Peas and green beans are particularly tasty when in season, so don’t hesitate to add these fresh legumes to your basket. English peas (sometimes called garden peas) are delicious — just remember to plan time to shell them since their pods are inedible (shelling can be a surprisingly meditative task!). Sugar snap peas (plump) and snow peas (flat) are the edible pod variety and are tasty as a crisp, raw snack (just remove the stems and peel away the string if tough). Green beans fall into the same category of spring/summer green veggies and can be used in a lot of the same dishes as peas. With all of these green goodies, make sure to use them quickly and don’t store too long in the fridge. They are best when enjoyed as fresh as possible and cooked only briefly, if at all! Try these top ten ideas for how to use fresh beans and peas for quick, tasty, nutritious side dishes and appetizers. 1. Cut green beans into 1-inch pieces, cook in a pot of boiling salted water for 1 to 2 minutes or until just al dente and toss with halved cherry tomatoes, chunks of fresh mozzarella, sliced fresh basil and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil for a summer salad. 2. Add chopped green beans, shelled peas or either sugar snap or snow peas to your favorite vegetable soup recipe just before it finishes cooking. 3. Combine peas with the refreshing taste of mint in this great grain side dish, Bulgur with Peas and Mint. 4. In a 400°F oven, roast green beans tossed with sliced red onions and a drizzle of olive oil, salt and coarsely ground black pepper until lightly browned and tender. 5. Mash tender steamed peas with crumbled goat cheese and spread on crostini for a quick hors d’oeuvre. 6. Put a sophisticated twist on peas and carrots with this easy, elegant recipe for Carrots with Peas and Pancetta. 7. Add snow peas (thinly sliced lengthwise) to prepared coleslaw for extra crunch and extra green! 8. Cook sugar snap peas in boiling salted water 2 to 3 minutes or until just tender then drain under cold running water and toss with lemon juice and a bunch of chopped fresh herbs like chives, tarragon and dill for a cool salad. 9. Make a pea-almond pesto. Puree steamed peas with grated parmesan, fresh basil, almonds and just enough olive oil to make a paste. Toss with fresh cooked pasta or use as a dip or sandwich spread. 10. Add snow peas to your favorite stir fry or noodle dish, or try one of ours, Sesame-Peanut Noodles. What are your top ways to enjoy fresh peas and beans?
Category: Food & Recipes, Produce