Peas come in a several forms. The shell pea is very common in American kitchens. This pea requires the outside pod be removed before cooking. Snow and snap peas are gaining in popularity and have the benefit of an edible pod. Snow peas have a flat pod while snap peas have a swollen pod, but both are edible and should not be shelled. The edible pod saves time in preparation, adds fiber and a nice crunch. We grow both snow and snap peas. They are high on my list of great vegetables.
Fresh peas are one of the great spring treats. We plant them as soon as the ground is dry in the spring. They always signal that winter is finally coming to an end and work in the fields is about to begin.
Store peas in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for up to one week. The sooner you eat them, the sweeter they will be.
Peas can be blanched and frozen but will lose their crunch.
- Even though the pods are edible they need to be de-stringed. Snap off the stem tip and pull downward.
- Snow peas are a classic stir-fry vegetable, but snap peas work just as well.
- Eat raw - as a snack or in salads.
- Steam lightly as a side dish. Don't over cook - just a couple of minutes is plenty. Be sure they are still bright green and have a crunch. They will continue to cook even after they are removed from the steamer.
- Add raw or steamed to pasta salads.