Recipe For Health
by Corporate Chef Kurt Kwaitkowski
Featured Food: sweet peas Yield: Makes about 3 cups Learn more about sweet peas

Ingredients

  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • ¼ c. diced white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ c. vegetable broth
  • 1 c. frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 c. frozen lima beans, thawed
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Zest from ½ of a lemon
  • 2 t. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 T. grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan and then sauté onions for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Deglaze the pan with the vegetable broth and remove from heat and cool. 

After onions and garlic have cooled, put them in a food processor with the peas and lima beans and blend. While blending, add the remaining 3 Tablespoons olive oil, and the lemon juice. Add the parsley, rosemary, lemon zest, and parmesan cheese. Pulse a couple of times to incorporate ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Let hummus sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Learn More About sweet peas

Not to be confused with snow peas or sugar snap peas, green peas are the familiar shelling variety that must be shucked from their pod. Green peas are called by other names—sweet peas for good reason and English peas for no reason that I know of. Mostly we refer to them simply as peas.

Rarely do I caution you to avoid anything in the produce aisle. Fresh peas are an exception. Peas from the produce aisle are bound to be a disappointment. The problem is that peas’ natural sweetness turns to starch so quickly that they are not-so-fresh even if they just arrived in the grocery store.  

Here are 3 ways to capture the goodness of peas:

  • Pick them yourself and refrigerate immediately. Shuck and cook them within 24 hours. 
  • Buy them directly from the farmers market or farm stand. The freshest peas will look shiny and firm and their pods will squeak when rubbed together. Avoid large pods with the peas crowded in them—they are starchier than smaller peas in smaller pods. Chill quickly.  
  • Pick up a bag of peas from your supermarket’s frozen foods section. Not only are they more convenient than fresh, they taste fresher than fresh and they’re a good bargain. Frozen peas come in two varieties: regular peas and petite peas, sometimes labeled baby sweet peas. Regular peas are larger, starchier and mildly sweet. Petite peas are small and tender with sweeter taste and creamier texture.  

Frozen peas can be used straight from the freezer. They thaw quickly and can be added directly to any dish including salads. To make peas as a side dish begin by sautéing aromatics (garlic, onions and/or shallots) in butter or olive oil. Add frozen peas, cover the pan and turn off the burner. Ready to eat in four minutes. Pass the peas, please. 
Peggy Crum MA, RD

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