ITEM OF WEEK : Shell peas

Peas are a frost-hardy, cool-season vegetable that grows on a climbing plant that produces pods containing seeds (the peas!). There are two main types -- those eaten with a pod (Sugar Snap Peas or Snow Peas), and those that must be removed from the inedible pod before eating (Shell Peas, also known as "Garden Peas" or "English Peas"). For the best Sugar Snap Peas, pick crisp, smaller pods, which are generally sweeter and more tender. For the best Shell Peas, pick plump, bright-green pods that look almost swollen.

Tips
* For storage, keep fresh, unwashed peas in an open plastic bag in the fridge for no more than 2- 3 days. Peas are high in sugar, which quickly turns to starch and reduces the peas' sweetness. In just hours, peas can lose as much as 40 percent of their sugar.
* Prepare Shell Peas just before cooking. Break off the stem and pull the fibrous string down the length of the pod. Press each pod between your thumbs and fingers to open, pushing out the individual peas. Rinse and drain the peas, discarding pods, stems, and strings. Boil or steam in 1/4 inch of simmering water for 3-4 minutes until crisp- tender. One pound of pods equals about one cup of shelled peas.
 

RECIPE of the week: 

Shell Peas Two Ways

The “shelling” is part of the fun. Grab the kids and get a bucket! Keep it simple and try them our two favorite ways!

Shell Peas with Mint
Ingredients
* 2 T. olive oil (we used 1 T. olive oil & 1 T. organic unsalted butter)
* 2cups Shell Peas
* 4-6 mint leaves, torn or chopped
* Salt , to taste
Directions
Cook peas in olive oil (or use 1 T. butter) over medium-high heat.  Add salt to taste. Cook 1- 2 minutes, then add mint. Continue cooking until the peas are tender, a few more minutes.

Shell Peas with Carrots, Onions & Parsley
Ingredients
* 2 T. olive oil
* 1spring onion (white parts)
* 1-2 small carrots, chopped
* 2cups Shell Peas
* Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions
Cook onion in olive oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots and peas and cook for 1-2 minutes or until tender.  Add salt and pepper. Toss with parsley.
 
-- Thanks to  Just Food for the shell pea tips! For more recipes, check out the Corbin Hill blog andFacebook page.