What’s In Season: Shelling Peas

IMG_5988I’ve been waiting and hoping. I started checking at the first markets in May, reminding myself (in vain) that they are never available as early as I think they are.

But, they are here! Shelling peas are ready! I snapped up a quart from Wake Robin Farm at the Dover Farmers’ Market last Wednesday!

Shelling peas are both a meal and an activity. I shelled mine on the porch with a chilled rosé and would recommend the same to anyone. They are a versatile food– good for salads, pastas, egg dishes, sides and more. Shell them all at once and they keep well if they are covered and refrigerated. That way you can use them throughout the week as it strikes your fancy.

The signature dish this week was pasta with peas, goat cheese and chive blossoms

  • IMG_5991Enough pasta for your crowd (this recipe is based on 2 people)
  • 1/2 qt peas, shelled and rinsed
  • 2-4 tablespoons of milk (whole, or you could sub cream, half and half, greek yogurt or regular yogurt here)
  • 1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
  • goat cheese (I used “half a disc” but realize this isn’t exactly standard measurement)
  • a handful of chives, chopped with blossoms reserved
  • pepper to taste

Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain when done and toss with a small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking.

Peas can either be added to the pasta water during the last 2-3 minutes of boiling, or cooked in a small pan with a touch of olive oil.

Over low heat, gently whisk milk, goat and parmesan cheeses until combined. Add pepper to taste and the chopped chives. Combine with pasta (I add the pasta to the pan to reheat if needed) and garnish with chive blossoms.

This recipe is easily altered — basil could be used instead of or in addition to the chives. A little lemon zest and juice never hurt a thing, either. Rather than rely on measurements, go with the amounts that look right. You won’t be disappointed!

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