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How to: use your pea harvest

Peas are one of those crops that can make the home gardener feel smugly self-satisfied because they taste so good fresh from the garden. 

If you’re harvesting now, or finding fresh firm peas in stores, try this classic; and if you’re not, buy in a pack of frozen peas and make plans for home-grown next year!

The sugars in peas start converting to starch as soon as they are picked, so if you can’t eat fresh from the vine you may be better using frozen peas rather than buying peas in the pod at the greengrocers.


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French-style peas

These braised and buttered peas are delicious as a starter, or served alongside a crispy-skinned piece of roast chicken.


What you need

100g shelled peas

splash of olive oil

half small leek, finely sliced

2 rashers bacon, finely diced

1 head baby cos, shredded

100ml chicken stock, or water

knob of butter


What to do

Bring a small pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the peas for two minutes. 


Heat a fry pan, add the oil, then cook the leek and bacon until the leek is soft. 

Add the peas, lettuce and stock or water and bubble to the boil, then swirl in the butter and serve.


A few more ideas

* Blanch green beans, sugar snaps and shelled peas, then sauté in olive oil and fold through cooked, drained spiral pasta with fresh rocket, fresh ricotta, lemon zest and plenty of ground black pepper.

* Blanch and pod broad beans, and blanch green peas. Drain well. Add a few torn leaves of mint and some chunks of marinated fetta and a drizzle of the fetta’s garlicky oil.

* Add peas, parsley and parmesan to a soupy risotto for a classic Venetian risi e bisi


Text: Robin Powell

About this article

Author: Robin Powell