Thursday Snapshot

Petits pois with shallots and chickweed

Petits pois, with shallots and chickweedadapted from and inspired by this recipe from L’Oustau de Baumanière, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Les Baux, Provence, France.

This is simple, especially given the tedium of peeling the peas as described in the original recipe.

4 ounces fresh green shelled peas, peeling optional (ideally, the peas should have been briefly simmered in boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds, then immediately blanched in ice water prior to cooking; see note below)
1 tablespoon unsalted French butter, such as Pamplie or Beurre d’Isigny
1 shallot, peeled, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chickweed leaves, chopped + extra leaves for garnish
sea salt, to taste
freshly milled black pepper, to taste
hazelnut oil, for garnish

Note: Small peas don’t need to be peeled; but to peel larger peas in the traditional way, submerge the shelled peas in boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds, then drain. Run cool water over the peas and drain again. Press lightly on one side of each pea and the skin will slip off; the pea inside will split into two pieces. Reserve the split peas and discard the skins. You can elect to skip this step if you wish.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until they start to brown a little. Add the peas and cook for 1-3 minutes depending on their freshness. Stir in some chopped chickweed at the last minute; let wilt. Taste for salt and pepper, then remove from heat. Spoon onto serving bowls, drizzle with hazelnut oil, top with a few chickweed leaves and serve at once.

Time: About two hours, including prep. The vast majority of the time will be spent peeling the peas. If you choose to skip that step, the entire recipe takes about 10 minutes from start to finish.


    • Thanks for the comment, Alfred.

      I’m glad I went through the exercise of peeling the peas, but I won’t be going through that again.

      FYI all, for the quantity of peas that you see in that picture, that was roughly from 1/2 lb. worth of shelling pea pods. It took me a little over 90 minutes to peel each individual pea, for slightly over 6 tablespoons worth of appetizer.

      It was delicious, but way too much work for me to consider doing it again a second time.


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