First look at spring produce and five easy ways to eat sugar snaps…
This month at my local farmer’s market, the offerings are changing as I am seeing the last of the winter vegetables and getting a first look at early spring vegetables such as cauliflower, celery, green peas and pea pods. My kids love these sweet crunchy vegetables and I do too! You’ll find them in my new cookbook, VEGAN FAMILY MEALS that comes out in June. This sweet green photo was taken by Sara Remington on a day we walked and shopped at my local market.
Sugar snap – snap pea – sugar snap pea – sugar pea, edible pea pods are a cross between an English pea and a snow pea. What ever you fancy calling them, I think most everyone loves sugar snaps because they are sweet and crisp and so easy to eat.
Good quality sugar snaps should have a bright medium to dark green color and have a nice crispness. They are about 2½ to 3 inches in length and have a plump, snug pod encasing the peas inside. They can keep for up to a week when kept refrigerated in plastic bags. Poke little holes in the bag and no need to wash the pea pods until you are ready to use them.
They can be eaten alone raw or slightly steamed or added into to other favorite vegetable dishes. You can steam your fresh peas in a steamer basket. Steaming takes about 3 to 5 minutes. Afterwards, run them under cool water before you serve them so their bright green color will come back. Long cooking of fresh peas will destroy nutrients and flavor and turn the peas a dull olive green color.
What about those strings? Sugar snap peas have strings, but whether or not they are removed is a personal choice or habit, not an obligation. The only thing that you may want to remove is the calyx or cap at one end. Your little ones can get involved by pulling the string down the side of the pod. Best if you start the pull by pressing your nail into the cap or using scissors or a paring knife to snip it off.
Here are five delicious and easy ideas for how to serve sugar snap peas:
•Use either the steamed or roasted pea pods and toss with this quick and easy pesto sauce:
Makes 1 cup pesto
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy.