One of my earliest memories of garden peas goes something like this…
The Connor family (I was a Connor back then) had just returned from the annual joyride around Europe – summer holidays where all 5 kids were squeezed into the (ordinary) car along with everything, except perhaps the kitchen sink. This was indeed possible back then, in just an ordinary car, when there were no seat belts or kids’ car seats. All very irresponsible flexible and carefree. Anyway, back to the peas. We’d just returned from the annual road trip and the conversation went along these lines:
My father: “The peas are gone!”
My mother: *gasp* “What do you mean gone?”
My father: “I mean they’re ALL gone!”
So we all traipse out to the back garden, where my father points in dismay to a squared off area, complete with bean poles but minus the pods. The peas, nicely approaching maturity when we left, were in fact all gone. A mystery to this day. We always suspected that the kids from the dodgy farm next door were the culprits. Probably revenge for my Dad having (accidently) killed one of their trespassing hens with a stone (“I was just trying to scare it away!”). Anyway, we moved shortly after that and the pea growing days came to an end, at least for a while.
My more recent encounters with peas have been more rewarding. They grow in abundance here in Denmark in the summer time and you can buy them everywhere. You see small kids being wheeled around eating them from the pods like candy. I love that. Here’s a recipe for a really great salad that we tried with some local peas this summer. This particular one was in fact made by Mr. Foody. I just took the photos and ate the end result. Here you go…
2 dessertspoons fresh lemon juice
2 dessertspoons cold-pressed rapeseed (canola) oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 dessertspoon sugar
1/2 clove garlic, grated
6 dessertspoons creme fraiche/sour cream
Heat the oven to 120° C
Bring the water to the boil with the sugar and some salt. Add the peas and boil for 20 seconds. Cool them in ice cold water and drain in a colander. Rinse the lettuce leaves, drain and tear them into smaller pieces, if necessary. Peel the shallot (tip: let it sit in hot water for a few minutes first) and slice finely.
Place the slices of bread on a lined baking sheet and brush with the olive oil. Sprinkle some salt on each slice and bake in the oven until they are really crisp (20-25 mins).
Mix the dressing ingredients well and season to taste.
Mix the peas, lettuce and sliced shallot together and arrange in a large dish or on individual small plates. Drizzle the dressing over the top and decorate with the toasted slices of bread.
This salad was inspired by Claus Meyer‘s Salatværksted