Recipe For Health
by Corporate Chef Kurt Kwaitkowski
Featured Food: Sugar Snap Peas Yield: Makes 4 servings Learn more about Sugar Snap Peas

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. sugar snap peas
  • 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms
  • ⅓ c. grape tomatoes
  • 3 T. diced shallot
  • 1 ½ t. olive oil
  • 1 T. minced fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Wash and string sugar snap peas. Brush or wipe clean shiitake mushrooms, discard stems, and slice into ½-inch thick strips. Wash grape tomatoes and cut in half.

Toss sugar snap peas and shallot in olive oil. Spread in single layer on sheet tray. Place in oven for 6 minutes.

Remove sheet tray from oven; add mushrooms, toss and place back in oven for 5 minutes.

Remove sheet tray from oven; add tomatoes, toss and place back in oven for 2 minutes.

Remove sheet tray from oven; toss roasted vegetables with thyme, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Learn More About Sugar Snap Peas

Usually there are more than 2 peas in a pod. But when it comes to the pod itself, there are 2 types:

  • i-pods (inedible pods): Shelling peas, also called English peas or pod peas, are the old-fashioned kind of peas that are shucked from their pods. The pods are tough, good only for the compost pile. 
  • e-pods (edible pods): Snow peas and sugar snap peas are entirely edible, pod and all—with the immature peas left inside.  

Introduced in 1979, sugar snap peas are a cross between the shelling pea and the snow pea. Sugar snap peas look a lot like shelling peas but their pods could not be more different. As their name implies, sugar snap peas are plump, crispy and sweet!  

No matter the variety, the sugar in fresh peas begins to turn to starch within minutes of being plucked from the vine. One tell-tale sign that the peas are too old to be sweet is yellowing pods. Pass on peas with any sign of shriveling or yellowing. Choose those with a dark green, full-podded look. Keep them cool on the trip home, refrigerate immediately and use within a couple of days. 

Whether you serve them raw or cooked, be sure to remove the string that runs along the seam of each pod. Use a paring knife to cut into the stem end, lift the string and pull gently along the length of the pod, turn and pull off the string on the other side. It is not necessary to string small, immature pods as the string is not fully developed. 

Simple preparations are best. Blanch the stringed pods in a pot of salted boiling water for a minute or two. Drain, then plunge in ice water. Drain again and they’re ready to be served hot or cold. Delicious as a side dish, they also make a sweet addition to salads and stir-fries.  


Peggy Crum MA, RD

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