Fresh green peas are one of the hallmarks of spring. The season is quite short, confined to the cool, moist conditions of spring and very early summer. However, some pod varieties tolerate more heat and can be found in the market until around the first week of July.
If possible, peas should be kept cool on the way home and refrigerated immediately. To prepare edible-pod peas, snap off each end, pulling down the side of the pod to remove the strings. Pods can be left whole or sliced in half lengthwise, prior to cooking. Overaged sugar snap peas can be shucked and used like English peas.
Peas and carrots, with Indian spices
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This ain’t an ordinary bowl of peas and carrots.
1/2 lb. sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
7 dried curry leaves
crushed dried chiles
juice of half a lime
Melt ghee in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add mustard seeds. When the seeds “pop”, add garlic, chiles, curry leaves and cloves and sauté until the garlic takes on a little color. Immediately add carrots and peas to the pan, along with a pinch of salt. Sauté until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Taste for salt if necessary. Stir in lime juice, scatter chopped cilantro and serve at once.
Time: 15 minutes, including prep.