I'm very much a spring and summer girl. I love the bounty of produce that appears this time of year, and I like the warmth of the sun. So, despite my cold-weather-induced-crankiness, let's get on to some food we ate LAST week! (you know, when summer was here)
I picked up beautiful green peas at our local whole foods store (Choices). They were on sale, and quite fresh. I suspected our older girl would have fun shelling them with me... and she did! I opened up the pods and let her swipe the peas out into a bowl. She had a great time, and enjoyed seeing the different sizes of peas in each pod.
Now, this girl LOVED peas through her first few years. I mean, I would take green peas (frozen, warmed in boiled water then drained) on outings with us for snacks. Yes, she loved them that much. Peas and corn kernels. Easy vegetables to give her, and she gobbled them up! Then one day, she 'stopped' liking them. I know their palates develop and move through likes and dislikes, but huhhhh? Green peas. They are sweet and fun to eat for kids, aren't they?
So, I thought with her getting involved she would rekindle her love for the green peas. I sauteed them ever so briefly in a touch of Earth Balance (she loves this stuff, so I thought, again it might give the green peas an extra edge rather than using olive oil). Now, if you are cooking green peas - whether sauteing in oil and seasonings, or steaming, or however you cook them... cook just until they turn that bright green color. Then, taste test! Once the starchy pea taste has just turned the corner to that wonderful sweet pea flavor - they're done! And it just takes a few minutes. You'll see the color get brighter, and then quickly test. Remove from heat, and serve! Don't let these beautiful peas get overcooked and lose that vibrant, sweet flavor.
Ok. So, I make a pasta that will be in ED&BV. A Lemon Garlic Pasta that will take you only as long as the time to cook your pasta. Seriously, the sauce can be made while your pasta is cooking. It's great for summer days, because the sauce isn't cooked - just the pasta. Here's the pasta, topped with the gorgeous fresh peas:
Ahhhh, it was sumptuous! (and doesn't it look creamy? - but not a drop of non-dairy milk or 'cream' in there.)
For the girls, I pulled out some plain pasta and tossed it with olive oil and salt. Our sauce was just a bit too garlicky for them. Kids love 'plain' pasta. Anyhow, I topped their bowls with the peas too. I was excited to see the girls' reactions. After a couple of nibbles, not so impressed. I built it up saying "hey dad, Charlotte helped me shell these peas today, aren't they great?" Now, hubby has never liked green peas much himself. As a kid, his mom would give him a pea for each year (ex: 7 peas at 7 years - ha, he'd be in trouble if I had to dish up his peas now with that same formula!! he he). He told me he always hated them. Again, I don't get this. I understand if he was eating canned peas (and probably was). They are grey and mushy and not vibrant tasting. But these fresh peas... yummy! Sweet! As you can tell, I loved them. Sadly, I was the only one. But, I ate everyone else's. Their loss. The pasta with the peas... it was all delicious.
Btw, if you remember this potato salad post, you can now dive into the recipe in the current VegNews ("Picnic Panache" article, pages 70-71). It's delish, go get some of those seasonal new potatoes and make it for your next BBQ or picnic!