Peas with mint bring back so many fond memories of my travels in England. No matter where I went I always found peas with mint or mushy peas on every menu. A side of peas was always an accompaniment to fish and chips or roast beef. My love for peas as well as English food grew infinitely during my time there. It's funny, because as a kid I despised peas. Luckily as I grew older my tastes matured and now peas are one of my favorites.
Once again I'm growing peas this summer. Peas are so easy to grow. You just start from seed and watch them climb up a fence. There's really no maintenance involved. I have two varieties: shelling peas and sugar snap peas, which can be eaten whole—pod and all. After picking six quarts of peas, I know I've got a lot of cooking to do to use up my haul. Some of my favorite recipes for peas include this creamy soup and this sugar snap pea stir-fry.
I love to serve a vegetable sauté with dinner, because it's quick and easy to prepare. With only five ingredients, this side dish of peas is perfect. Mint is a traditional herb with peas because it adds a fresh flavor. Don't be afraid to use it—a little goes a long way. Instead of cooking the peas in water, I like to use pea stock, made from the pods. It adds even more pea flavor. You could also use chicken stock if you want a more robust flavor. If you come across some beautiful fresh peas at the farmers' market this summer, buy some and make this recipe. It's so much better than frozen peas—your taste buds will agree.
Sautéed Peas with Mint
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 spring onion, sliced
2 cups shelled peas
1/2 cup pea stock or water
6 mint leaves, torn
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Warm oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add peas. Pour in enough stock to cover peas. Bring to a boil. Add mint. Lower to a simmer and cook peas until tender and almost all liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Yield: 2 servings.