Seeking advice: Cooking English peas

I’ve managed to grow ‘English peas’ and am at the point of harvest. Since this forum seems to have many folks from England, could anyone recommend an simple/favorite method for preparing them? They aren’t as common here in the states and seem A good bit meatier than what I buy at the store. I eat sugar snaps right off the vine but would love advise on what to do with shelled peas.

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Hi there - it’s not complicated. Wait for the pods to fill - not like mangetout . Depending on how tender and sweet they are (taste them raw) a FEW minutes boiling or steaming should get them ready for the plate. Be patient until the pods actually fill and plump up. Feel the pods to see that they are full. It’s a matter of taste but to get the best pea taste, don’t overcook them. ‘English’ Peas also freeze well but don’t over-blanche them and try to keep them as separate as poss’ before finally bagging and freezing them. Varieties will differ. With peas, the longer they stay on the vine, the more the sugar will move to starch, and so pick the odd full pod at different stages of maturity and taste and size. When you like the taste and the peas are ‘plump’, then is the time for you to harvest. It’s a bit experimental but, as I hinted, there is no mystery. Pick as soon as some of the pods feel full to keep the plant trying to make more ‘seed’ - peas. Plant every 4-5 weeks or more to get a succession. Depending on the climate zone, you can sow more peas well into July to keep them coming.
Podding them is boring - eating them is well worth the effort.

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Definitely don’t overcook them! A few minutes in lightly salted, boiling water is quite enough. If you find you have left some a bit too long (and like beans, you have to pick almost every day) then you can give them a bit of French treatment.
Gently sauté a finely chopped onion, in butter for preference but in canola (rapeseed) oil if you are denying yourself. Anyway, onion, lightly golden and translucent, add some chopped or crushed garlic and your starchy peas. Add enough stock (vegetable or chicken) to almost cover the peas and simmer gently until the peas are almost tender. Add a small, finely shredded lettuce, cos (romaine) for preference, and adjust seasoning to taste. Continue until the liquid is reduced to a sauce rather than a soup, serve with a knob of butter (I know, but life has to be worth living. Okay, low fat crème fraîche if you insist). Superb with duck or chicken. Bon appetit!

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A few minutes’ boiling is plenty, but to be honest I got so fed up with spending so much time podding peas that I now only grow a small number of plants. Podding a few to snack on in the garden (and share with my dog) is a pleasure though!

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Shame on you, Veggie (written in the best possible (friendly ) taste.) I didn’t have you down as a furtive pea-snacker. As for your canine mate, my dogs actually spat out my delicious peas although they can’t get enough carrot. Snapping those peas out of their pods I find to be somewhat satisfying and - the ensuing culinary results - we had them with the first of the new spuds and some lamb shanks at the weekend and ooooOOH - heavenly!! Every good wish, bro’.

I think you mean ‘sis’ :wink:

My dog will eat just about anything from the garden - after 9 years I’ve only just got him trained not to harvest things himself (most of the time)! He’s currently spending a lot of time hanging out next to the fruit cage in the hopes of strawberries. The cage is as much to keep him out as it is to stop birds pinching the fruit!

Homegrown peas are one of the tastiest treats from the garden I think, glad you enjoyed yours. :slight_smile:

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re "I think you mean ‘sis’ "

WHOOPS! Humble apologies!

No offence taken, I always was a bit of a tomboy :laughing:

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And an illicit pea snacker…We all know now…

Guilty as charged! We were at it again today :rofl:

Hmmm…Multiple times…A pattern of behaviour then…