Thursday, July 1, 2010

pickled sugar snap peas

peter piper picked a peck of pickled PEAS

I don't like peas. My dad makes a pasta dish with onions and oil and frozen peas and the peas are always the worst part. Whenever he serves it, I always wonder why anyone bothers to eat the tasteless little buggers.

So, as you can probably imagine, I was less than thrilled when the season's first food co-op share included a little cardboard carton of sugar snap peas. The co-op is a big commitment in terms of the quantities of food you're getting, and I really want to waste as little of it as possible. However, that didn't mean I was looking forward to eating peas. At all.

While I was searching for a good sugar snap pea recipe, I came upon this one, which calls for pickling them. I'm not a particularly big fan of pickles, (in fact, there are a great number of pickles I don't like at all), but the idea appealed to me because it meant that I could prepare the peas and then pack them away for later. With so much produce and so few people eating it, there's only so much you can eat on any given day. I pickled these peas the day after my first pick-up, after eating a salad for breakfast, after preparing coleslaw, and before making spinach meatball risotto and a great big salad for dinner. I wanted to use those peas, but I wasn't about to eat them that Friday. Enter pickling them, which was supposed to take two weeks.

cold and refreshing pickled peas

This recipe was also great because making it was super fast. Once I had sliced a couple of cloves of garlic and cleaned the peas by snapping off the end and peeling off the string, the bulk of the work was done. I dissolved equal parts sugar and salt into white vinegar on the stove top, and then added as much cold water as I had vinegar.(I think I may have actually added too much vinegar and not enough water, but these were still good.) I put the peas and the garlic and some red pepper flakes in a jar, and then poured the cooled vinegar mixture over them. Into the fridge they went, and I didn't try them until a week later.

Crunchy and acidic, tempered by a bit of the peas natural sweetness, these make quite a good snack. Just don't bite them in half, lest you want ice cold vinegar running down your chest. Actually, in the summer heat, that might not be such a bad thing. Who knew peas could be so refreshing?!

gimme da peas

Since unenthusiastically pickling my first batch of peas, I've been cooking them with pasta and quite enjoying them. I regret being so biased against such a delightfully sweet and crunchy vegetable after encountering them only after a long sojourn in the supermarket's freezer department. It was unfair of me. I've got a couple more pea dishes that I'll be blogging about presently, but if we get more this week I think I'll try this. Pancetta and sage and garlic and ricotta? Sign me up! We'll see if I get it together with all those non-pantry-essential ingredients before snap pea season ends, but it does sound delicious.

1 comment:

  1. Snap peas are great in a stir-fry because the "snap" holds up really well even after tossing them around a wok.