Peas are one of the UK’s most popular vegetables and you’ll often find them at the back of the freezer. They are little powerhouses of nutrition and deserve to take centre stage in a dish. They’re a great source of vitamin C for the immune system, thiamine (vitamin B1) to breakdown and release energy from food, and folate for the oxygen carrying red blood cells. They’re also a good source of protein for muscles mass and recovery, and fibre for digestion. Here are 5 ways to use peas.
1. Easy peasy soup
Pea soup is one of the quickest and easiest soups to make and only requires a few kitchen essentials. All you need is frozen peas, onion, garlic, vegetable stock cube, fresh mint, and salt and pepper. Peas also pair well in soups with leeks, asparagus, watercress, potato, ricotta, cream, bacon, thyme, parmesan and lemon.
2. Green houmous or pesto
Peas can be used in a dip to brighten up your plate and pack more veg into your meals. You can make houmous using chickpeas or other types of beans such as cannellini beans and broad beans, and pair it with tahini, garlic, lemon, mint, extra virgin olive oil, and greek yogurt for a creamier dip. Alternatively you can use peas to make pesto with mint, parmesan, garlic, lemon, extra virgin olive oil and black pepper. You can use them in lunchboxes with pitta bread and crudités, instead of mayonnaise or butter in a sandwich, spread on toast, with fish or swirled through pasta (we love Jamie Oliver’s Skinny Carbonara).
3. Spring salad
Although you can buy frozen peas all year round, they are actually in season in spring. Frozen peas are usually frozen within 2.5 hours of being picked from the field and therefore contain more of their vitamin and mineral content compared to fresh peas. They taste great in a refreshing green salad with watercress, roasted new potatoes, mint, lemon, feta or halloumi, and a minty yogurt dressing. This salad is delicious eaten alone but also pairs well with lamb at Easter.
4. Fritters or croquettes
Make peas the hero of the dish and enjoy them in fritters (we love Wall Flower Kitchen’s Baked Green Pea Fritters) and croquettes (we love Ottolenghi’s Pea and Mint Croquettes). They pair well with fresh herbs such as parsley, spring onion and feta and taste great hot or cold as a snack with a yogurt dip, side salad or in a pitta.
5. Risotto, fish pie and pasta
Almost every household as a packet of peas in the freezer all year round. So why not increase your veggie intake by adding a handful of peas to common dishes such as risottos, fish pie, pastas and curries. They don’t take long to defrost, so you can add them into the dish rather than cooking them separately.