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5.27.2010

Peas without apology

Last weekend, over the course of 24 hours, I ate almost a pound of peas. I’ve done crazier things in my life, but not many.




I would like to tell you that I bought my peas at the farmers’ market, and that I shucked each one by hand, and that it was a true, starry-eyed labor of love, pod after pod after pod after pod, because it’s spring, and people are supposed to eat fresh peas in spring. But I haven’t seen any peas at our market, and I didn’t feel like waiting, so I bought a one-pound bag in the freezer aisle at the grocery store. I totally cheated, and I am not sorry. I needed some peas.

Maybe you hate peas, or maybe you tolerate them, or maybe you like them enough to feel like crying if you don’t consume a large quantity of them between the months of March and June. I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that, whoever you are, you should try a little dish called peas with prosciutto, preferably the recipe from Italian Easy, by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers. Italians have a way with peas, which is to say: they cook them for a long time. Stay with me here. Go get some peas, and then cook them slowly in butter and scallions and garlic, until they go almost olive green. Then top them with prosciutto and let the whole thing hang out for five minutes or so, until the prosciutto twists and curls in the heat, letting loose its salt and fat and flavor and funk. What you’ll have then are some serious peas, some gutsy peas, peas without apology.

Until recently, I was under the impression that peas were to be cooked very little, if at all. It would have never occurred to me to use the words “pea” and “olive green” in the same sentence, except in the context of something deeply regrettable. My grandparents’ generation cooked the daylights out of its peas (and pretty much everything else), and we learned our lesson. Our peas were to be bright green, and when you closed your teeth around one, it was supposed to give way with a small, cheerful pop. But then I met my friend Francis, who has great respect for the olive green pea. He reminded me that peas are legumes. They’re like young beans, basically. When they’re newly picked, they’re filled with sugar, but as they age - which they do with great speed - those sugars turn to starch. As with other legumes, if you want them to be sweet and tender and not starchy, you’ve got to cook them until they taste sweet and tender and not starchy, and that can take a while. Francis says it a lot better that I can, but basically, unless you’ve got some very fresh specimens on your hands, you would do well to give them a thorough cooking.

That said, frozen peas are a special case. You can go either way with them. Because they’re frozen quickly after picking and processing, they’re generally fairly sweet, without a ton of starch. I’m happy to eat them pretty much any way they’re cooked, or even not cooked at all. But when I tried cooking them long and slow, longer than I ever had before, I found something totally new. At first, early on in the cooking, the peas tasted good: clean and mildly sweet, with a snappy skin and a tender center. But as they kept cooking, the flavor went deeper, into a different dimension of sweetness, one that’s lower, closer to the soil. The skin started to wrinkle, and the inside got creamy, and though there was nothing mushy about it, the whole thing sort of melted between my teeth. The key is to taste as you go, and to stop cooking at the perfect midpoint between crunch and mush. You’re not trying to cook the crap out of them, but close. It doesn’t take long – just 15 minutes or so – but it’s a lot longer than most of us are accustomed to. Your hand will probably start itching to turn off the stove around the three-minute mark, but hold steady. Be strong. Be Italian, for approximately 15 minutes. You won’t be sorry.



Peas and Prosciutto
Adapted from Italian Easy: Recipes from the London River Café, by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers

The original version of this recipe calls for fresh peas, but I used frozen instead. If you choose to use frozen, I recommend buying the kind labeled “petite peas,” which tend to be smaller and sweeter. If you think of it, try to defrost them slightly before using them here. But if not, just bang the bag around on the counter to break up any big clumps.

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 spring onion or 2 scallions, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 lb. fresh or frozen peas
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
About 2 ½ ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces

Melt about half of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook slowly to soften. Do not allow to brown. Add the peas, stir to combine, and then add the remaining butter. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender and sweet, about 10 minutes. Add the prosciutto, and stir to mix. Then turn off the heat, cover the skillet, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Taste, and season as needed.

Serve warm.

Yield: about 4 side-dish servings

149 Comments:

Anonymous Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks said...

Wow, this sounds really delicious. I am so used to my dad's microwaved-til-warm frozen peas with butter that your version sounds positively exotic!

3:14 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger 12th Man Training Table said...

Well-cooked peas might be my new cause. I'm going to be obnoxious about it for the whole summer.

3:25 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger Anne Zimmerman said...

I am not a huge pea fan, mostly because I find them so sweet and pea-ish. I am excited about this recipe, though. It sounds like peas with a deeper and more earthy flavor profile, something I think I'd enjoy.

3:25 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This dish sounds absolutely amazing, and I can't wait to try it. Any thoughts on what to serve alongside it?

3:26 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger Shelly said...

I'm normally the sort of person that is happy eating them as I shell them fresh from the garden. The idea of peas with butter and prosciutto is acting like a siren song to me right now...

3:46 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger My Kitchen in the Rockies said...

This is how my kids have been demanding peas since forever. Actually, that's how we eat them all the time. Isn't that one of the best veggie dishes ever?? Love it.

3:47 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous my little expat kitchen said...

I adore peas. In Greece we cook them exactly like the Italians do. For a loooong time. This recipe sounds right up my alley. Thanks!
Magda

3:48 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous Erin's Kitchen said...

So many amazing recipes in that book. I just watched the two series they filmed for Channel 4 (UK channel) years ago and it was so nice to see their love for Italian food. No gimmicks, just a genuine interest.
Love the pictures as always

4:07 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger WannabeMommy said...

Hmmm... I'm not a big pea fan but anything cooked in butter and prosciutto sounds good to me!

4:11 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous caroline said...

Mmmm. I love peas & mix in prosciutto & butter & it's heaven..

4:41 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous Kimberley said...

Yum yum yum! I am pea-crazy right now. Maybe they come into season a little sooner down here, but fresh peas are going off right now in California. I'm not judging, though!

5:03 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger bellini valli said...

I will definietly keep this is mind when the market has those fuller, rounder peas. Until then I love my peas in potato salad:D

5:04 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger mosey said...

As I have discovered lately, there is nothing that isn't made more yummy with prosciutto. I hated peas growing up, but am learning to re-like them. I'll try this, but I may hold my nose for the first bite or two...

5:09 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous emily said...

sounds delicious. makes me wish i ate prosciutto. always happy to find you here, molly. even frozen peas sound like a delicacy in your language.

5:18 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Oh. Really? I love my raw or barely cooked peas. I just don't know. You do give such a tempting description. Hmmm. Okay, I'll give it a try. What's 15 minutes and a few peas, right? Perhaps I'll find a new love.

6:00 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous Belinda @zomppa said...

I used to pick out peas one by one...but put prosciutto on thi? I can enjoy this!

6:18 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger Mara from Motherofalltrips said...

Love everything about this post - the concept, the recipe, and especially the title!

6:18 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous vicki said...

i'm sorry...no, no, no. Mr. Lam is wrong. Peas are NOT beans. they are 2 completely different genera. Less related to each other than tomatoes and eggplants. Can't believe such a noted food writer would be stating something so categorically wrong.

After all...Wikipedia makes it very plain that peas and beans are distinctly different plants/fruits.

Sorry for the rant...bu this type of blatant misinformation makes me as nuts as when food writers in reputable publications (such as the NYT) tell people that Earl Grey tea is flavored with the American wildflower, bergamot!

6:34 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger Hula Hoop da Loop said...

I think you rock, simply because of the way you talk about peas.

6:35 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous Victoria said...

There are some things I love. Eggs. And Marcella's (and yours) Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter.

And peas.

One year I grew them in the garden upstate. And guess what? They weren't as good as the frozen petites. That's because I wasn't there for a couple of weeks when they "came in," and by the time I picked them, they were already full of starch. Maybe if I'd known about cooking them a loooooong time, I could have rescued them. But as it was, I didn't.

And I felt guilty. So guilty.

I am going to get a bag of frozen petite peas tomorrow and make this recipe over the weekend. It sounds simply perfect. Thanks for passing it along, Molly.

6:51 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous Jan (Family Bites) said...

I love peas! And I love frozen peas too. But I totally didn't know they needed to be cooked for a long time. I'm going to give a go this weekend...and the prosciutto and butter....can't imagine anything better.

6:56 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous Diana @ frontyardfoodie said...

Oh I can't WAIT til my peas are ready!!!! I'm massively in love with them.

You're right, I do always pop them in and pop them out of the heat or just eat them raw. I'll give cooking a try!

7:08 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger Cocina Savant said...

sounds fabulous! peas and proscuitto is one of my favorite spring combinations. looks delicious!

7:10 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous Jessica @ How Sweet said...

Anything with prosciutto is good by me! :)

7:29 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) said...

I could eat peas everyday and never get sick of them! I especially like them with pasta and butter. :)

Jenn

8:19 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger Amanda Hawkins said...

Ok, I trust you Molly, but I admit I am extremely skeptical here...peas cooked a long time sounds as appealing as broccoli cooked a long time--not too good. But I trust you. Here I go!

8:19 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger Fresh Levant said...

I love mushy olive green peas. My favorite is a stew that my mom made for us regularly with baby carrots and onions... yummy.

8:21 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger J and K said...

As a cooking/veggie novice I recently confused regular peas (that need to be shucked) with sugar snap peas that don't. I was so proud of myself cooking up a yummy cauliflower curry with (podded) peas until I tried it. I wound up shucking the peas, IN THE CURRY, for a good 30 minutes. It was such a mess. Lesson learned.

8:21 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous lonbeehold said...

I grew up on this dish. My Dad's were the best. Monday, he will be gone a year. I think I'll make a batch in his honor. Anon 3:26, you can serve them as a side to just about anything. My Mom always serves them at Sunday dinner-we all spoon it over the macaroni and red sauce. Yummmmm.

8:38 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Yum, yum, YUM! While I will be happy the year we add peas to our garden (no plans to add them to the farm EVER because, hello, can you imagine shelling peas for hundreds and hundreds of people every week?), I do think frozen peas are one thing that tastes at least as good as the fresh stuff -- often even better, because of the very issue you bring up, how quickly they can go starchy.

I have a fondness for olive green peas because, growing up, we ate canned peas. The first time I had fresh or frozen peas I thought they were disgusting! I have come around, and happily, but I wonder if this recipe would take me back to being 6. But better.

8:43 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger Jen said...

Go Mollie! Go peas!

9:01 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous Mark @ Cafe Campana said...

So simple but yet so good. This looks very nice. I could eat bowls full of it.

9:48 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous The Leftoverist said...

You're right. Mushy peas have a really bad name. So much so that my Mom NEVER cooked peas for us and prided herself on the omission. Looks like it's time to break family tradition.

10:25 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous Jen/YVR said...

My grandpa was Scottish, and not too big on veggies of any kind. He called salad 'rabbit food' and refused to have anything to do with it. When you said 'olive green' and 'peas' together, it reminded me of his favourite dish - ground beef cooked till far past done with a can of peas mixed in. About as tasty as it sounds. I will reserve judgement on your olive-green peas till I've tried it, though!

10:28 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger donna baker said...

I love peas. Whether fresh (my fav) or frozen, cooked or uncooked. I love the little petite pois, though Ina Garten says get the larger ones, they have more flavor. I've never been able to find the larger ones to try.

10:33 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger Nabeela said...

We Indians cook peas long and slow too. But when I moved to America, I started doing the 3-minute cooking thing and now I'm in love with the result it produces :)
I guess we like eating something we are not used to :)

10:54 PM, May 27, 2010  
Blogger lexi said...

I want to eat this right now! And thanks to the miracle of frozen baby peas, I can. Thank you!

11:27 PM, May 27, 2010  
Anonymous molly said...

Love that book. Missed this dish. Obviously, a deep and grievous oversight.

12:22 AM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous Dom said...

I love peas! I think they lift so many dishes... but I believe that cooking them both ways (short and long) works well, depending on what you want from them. I make a lovely pea and pernod risotto (check out the blog) and i add the peas right at the end and they just lift it and add a burst of sweetness and flavour.. but I also make a Italian Chicken dish that adds the peas at the start and they come out deep green and full of flavour...love the photo's by the way! x

12:38 AM, May 28, 2010  
OpenID belalumo said...

I usually only tolerate peas, and I definitely wouldn't go out of my way to make them, BUT this recipe might change all that. Your enthusiasm and that episode of Spilled Milk has piqued my curiosity...Love the photo too, by the way.

12:57 AM, May 28, 2010  
Blogger Patty said...

canned peas--yuck!

Romagnolis' Meatless cookbook from the 80s had a dish called paparele e bisi--butter, onion slivers, peas and egg noodles. Yum!

We have fresh peas in Georgia right now--my parents have been freezing some too.

3:10 AM, May 28, 2010  
Blogger Laura said...

As an Italian I can say that this is an amazing dish. My grandmother made the best peas with prosciutto in the world, nobody could quite replicate this dish. She knew that I loved it so she made it pretty much every time I went to see her, bless her heart. It was like eating dessert for me, the peas were really sweet, and then there was the saltiness of the prosciutto. YUM! My grandmother used to add a little of chopped parsley too and that worded really well.

Thanks for the trip to memory line.

5:58 AM, May 28, 2010  
Blogger Johanna GGG said...

I often put peas in my curries and let them simmer for ages so they get soft and fall apart in the curry - jut like my mum used to do

6:04 AM, May 28, 2010  
Blogger Lenore said...

I love peas. Especially in curries! I will have to try this...

XO
Lenore

6:52 AM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous zuza said...

love love love peas!

this is a portugese pea recipe i do quite often:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZpIAzpOLf0

7:40 AM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous SeattleDee said...

I'm with you on the butter and prosciutto, but not so much on the long-cooked peas. I'd probably go for the pork and just push the peas around the plate... but it's worth one trial tasting, just to be sure.

7:51 AM, May 28, 2010  
Blogger Lainey Seyler said...

i like to eat peas frozen, too, but i haven't picked up any peas in YEARS. i'll give it another go. thanks!

7:53 AM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous ellina said...

Molly, in Greece we cook peas like you describe, only we use olive oil, and simmer for about 20-25 minutes (even longer than you stipulated). And most of the time we add some chopped carrots, too.

9:16 AM, May 28, 2010  
Blogger debi said...

Fabulous! We're always looking for another proscuitto recipe, since we always use such small amounts!

9:28 AM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous DessertForTwo said...

Wow. This really changed the way I think about peas. I usually don't go past the 3 minute mark. But I absolutely can not wait to try this! Thanks for sharing!

9:47 AM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous Hallie @ Daily Bites said...

This recipe looks delicious! I'll eat peas prepared any way. Bright green, olive green, pureed, mashed, sauteed, even burnt (although I wouldn't recommend this last one). Thanks, Molly!

10:39 AM, May 28, 2010  
Blogger Jen said...

I also love peas. Very much. And after I saw Ina Garten say that peas were one of the few vegetables that would still taste great after being frozen, I have become an off-season frozen pea convert.

11:18 AM, May 28, 2010  
Blogger Lulu said...

oh YUM this looks entirely too delicious!

11:50 AM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous Martha said...

I do not like "green peas"! They are far too mushy and cloyingly sweet. I am of the class that thinks that vegetables should not be sweet. Now, if you are talking the Southern varieties of peas...purple hulls, cream peas, lady peas...we are in the realm of Nirvana! THIS is the true taste of summer along with sweet corn, tomatoes, and watermelon! That said, I may come off my soapbox long enough to try your recipe. ANTYHING that includes prosciutto cannot be all bad.

12:52 PM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous Emily said...

My husband just brought home a HUGE hunk of prosciutto from work and all I've done with it so far is making pasta. Delicious? Yes. But with peas we'll feel like we're eating healthy! Thanks for sharing and thanks for your little secret that even you buy frozen grocery store peas - that's where I'll be getting mine.

1:30 PM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous Heena said...

In India we would never think of cooking peas for just 3 mins. They are cooked long and slow until they turn meltingly soft - they absorb the flavor of the curry they're being cooked in and the curry absorbs the flavor of the peas - it's a perfect marriage. My absolute favorite is Matar Paneer (or peas with cottage cheese). I've been dying to make it here (Canada) but so far it's been proving difficult to come by good paneer.

1:32 PM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous Heena said...

I think you've just given me a fabulous idea - I'm going to try and make my own paneer! Will let you know how it goes..

1:48 PM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous Northern Snippet said...

This goes really well with lamb chops,you can use streaky bacon in the recipe,works really well

3:04 PM, May 28, 2010  
OpenID outandup said...

Heena, I've made paneer! It's not too tricky, you just have to plan ahead and make it the day before you want to use it. Mine came out a little crumbly, but it works fine in recipes.

I was never a fan of English peas growing up, though I loved snow peas and sugar snaps. When my mother served peas for dinner, I would smother them in peanut butter to hide the taste. Now I use frozen peas as ingredients in chicken pot pie, risotto, etc., and I've been known to snack on a few of the still-frozen orbs.

Scallions and garlic make everything awesome, though, so I may try this, with or without the prosciutto.

9:13 PM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous Ksenia said...

I don't know why some people don't like peas. I love them cooked both ways, little and until "olive green". Actually, this is the way my brother always demanded them (me, and not my mother, is the official cook at home)

11:34 PM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous D. @ Outside Oslo said...

Prosciutto--or meats like it--make almost anything better, doesn't it? When visiting Bastogne earlier this month, we had something like prosciutto--or jambon cru--multiple times: for a couple of breakfasts, in my husband's late-night dinner sandwich and in an asparagus dish (with big, fat, juicy, fresh white asparagus).

I think the highlight was the breakfast with champagne. A hotel breakfast--complimentary--with champagne can't be beat!

11:57 PM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous tobias cooks! said...

I love such simple dishes. All that counts are the ingredients.

12:28 AM, May 29, 2010  
Blogger Veggie Mama said...

I am making this as we speak. But without prosciutto. The smell of the garlic cooking in the butter is divine!

3:51 AM, May 29, 2010  
Anonymous Marcia said...

Real Pea lovers should also try Lynne Rossetto Kasper's "Three Pea Toss" from the Splendid Table. The recipe is all over the internet and contains snow peas , snap peas, frozen or fresh peas, red onion and almonds. Welcome Spring.

9:14 AM, May 29, 2010  
Blogger Karena said...

I love,love peas. Put them in lots of pasta dishes, fettucine alfredo! Yum

Surprise on my site!

Karena
Art by Karena

9:17 AM, May 29, 2010  
Anonymous Claudia said...

When we were small, my sister who hated peas, would put them up her nose so she wouldn't have to eat them.

12:10 PM, May 29, 2010  
Anonymous Kristen (wwfoodie) said...

After hearing your Spilled Milk podcast on mushy peas and your friend's passionate explanation about why they should be cooked WAY more than I ever have. I tried it, was skeptical, but LOVED them. Even a friend I was cooking for, who didn't think he liked peas, enjoyed them. Thanks!

12:23 PM, May 29, 2010  
Anonymous The Rowdy Chowgirl said...

This may be the absolute best sentence in a wonderful post: "You’re not trying to cook the crap out of them, but close." Nice!

12:55 PM, May 29, 2010  
Blogger Tara said...

Thanks for the reminder about peas - somehow, they're one of those vegetables that I never give much thought to. Sounds like that was a mistake on my part!

In my former life, I'd be skeptical about cooking peas so long, but that was before my world was turned upside down by Nancy Silverton's long-cooked broccoli. Now, I'm willing to try extended cooking for a variety of veggies I used to think should be barely blanched. Next up: peas.

3:21 PM, May 29, 2010  
Anonymous Ben said...

Hi. I used to never live around farmers markets, or at least farmers markets that I could wake up in time to attend. So I've recently made the inverse discovery about pea mushing. However, peas, just shy of having the crap cooked out of them, have long been a staple. With olive oil, perhaps a bit of anchovy, until falling apart. With pasta---lovely!

3:54 PM, May 29, 2010  
Blogger Nouveau Chef said...

I am so there! I have been craving fresh peas since I heard that the QA market was opening a month early. To no avail, but Alvarez Farms promised me English peas and fava's within the next few weeks. I could easily eat a pound of peas straight out of the pod but will enjoy trying this (once I've finished eating enough peas in the pod.)

10:29 PM, May 29, 2010  
Anonymous Beens said...

This is one of my favourite ways to have peas! Though I admit, it took me a long time to get my head around cooking them for a longer time than I'm used to.

Sometimes if I'm feeling decadent, I add a splash of double cream

8:51 AM, May 30, 2010  
Anonymous Katharine @ agirlinmadrid.com said...

I love this- and thoroughly enjoy your Spilled Milk episode on peas!

9:29 AM, May 30, 2010  
Blogger Chef Mike Benninger said...

thats a great recipe.I do one for my dinner party clients that uses double smoked deli bacon and a bit of sour creeam, very decadent...

11:16 AM, May 30, 2010  
Blogger Brian G. said...

When the first red potatoes of the season were ready to harvest, my Mom would make creamed peas and potatoes - fresh green peas from the garden, baby potatoes and a white cream sauce. We would shell peas peas on the back steps and eat until stuffed. You will have to try it as soon as you can get baby red or yukon potatoes. Should be 2nd week in June.

7:01 PM, May 30, 2010  
Anonymous FrenchPressMemos said...

I have been dying for peas (and fava beans!). I keep my hopes up every saturday morning when I make the treck from Denver to the Boulder Farmers Market only to be disappointed week after week by the absence of my favorite spring staple.

The dish you describe is reminiscent of a Romanian dish my mom used to make. The peas were always fresh, always shucked by hand, and always cooked to a darker green than what I am used to these days. We always had small dice of carrots in it. It was and still is one of my favorite dishes.

I'll give the fresh peas one more week to emerge- if not, frozen isle it is!

8:24 PM, May 30, 2010  
Blogger Miss Scarlett said...

Oh this looks scrumptious -- I am a fan of prosciutto and peas...yet never thought of the combo on my own. ;-)

I only just made The Winning Hearts and Minds cake 30 min ago.
It's ruined me.
But it is so worth it.

I've loved reading your book! Thank you for sharing with us.

11:04 PM, May 30, 2010  
Anonymous kimswordonfood said...

The same is true of fresh corn, in terms of the sugar turning to starch once picked and left at room temp. So, you need to keep the corn cold after harvesting if you want to retain the sweet flavor or eat immediately. Isn't the smell of the fibers in the husks the just amazing? I always have to dig my nose in them and take a deep breath when I shuck.

I have always loved sugar snaps and green beans, usually with a bucket or two growing in the Spring and Summer in the garden or balcony. But peas, having ate what I grew up with no thanks. But, I have recently discovered fresh marrow fat peas. I suppose the above applies to peas as well. Keep them cold and they will retain their sweet flavor longer. I like them even when they are on the starchy side though slightly sauteed.

3:13 AM, May 31, 2010  
Blogger heartbreak pie said...

YUM! this also makes a delicious pasta sauce if you add pecorino, parmesan and cream. delicious.

4:02 AM, May 31, 2010  
Anonymous cookingoutloud said...

This looks delicious, but there is nothing better than fresh right out of the shells.

5:48 AM, May 31, 2010  
Blogger Elisabet Figueras said...

I love peas especially if they are fresh. Peas with prosciutto is a great combination.

11:35 AM, May 31, 2010  
Anonymous Sharmila said...

I love this post. You'd think it was because I love peas and adore prosciutto. That's really not why though. The reason I was rapturous about this particular post was because you wrote about this fabulously simple dish starring two things I love, on my birthday. What a lovely gift! (I know that is not why you wrote it. But a girl can daydream, can't she?)

12:57 PM, May 31, 2010  
Anonymous Chris said...

I adore all things peas. Add proscuitto, and I may need to be left alone to enjoy the dish by myself. lol

6:13 PM, May 31, 2010  
Anonymous Tina said...

I love Spilled Milk and just listened to the pea episode last week. I'm eager to try this new approach to peas. My previous experience with softish peas were the canned variety that made regular occurances in my childhood meals. They were horrid.

9:18 PM, May 31, 2010  
Blogger caitlin said...

this looks amazing! I'm vegetarian...any suggestions on a substitute for the prosciutto? or is it good to go as-is, minus the meat?

thanks Molly!

10:11 PM, May 31, 2010  
Anonymous The Muse of The Day said...

I would surprised if fresh shelled peas lasted long enough in the kitchen to actually make a recipe with them. The recipe sounds great, in order to try it I am going to have to sneak the peas into the house past my kids.

5:09 AM, June 01, 2010  
Anonymous Bridget said...

Please stop reading my mind! Before reading your latest post, I just bought peas and proscuitto in mind for a different recipe but looks like I'll be Italian tonight. Plus I've been making my own granola for two years now and just read your Bon Appetit June column so will have to give your recipe a try. Seriously, it's freaking me out. :)

6:48 AM, June 01, 2010  
Blogger Salty Squid said...

We love peas, especially fresh peas but it is still hard to find them in Ireland at the mo. I love this dish and will have to try feature it as a tapas inspired dish on our own tapas blog

9:14 AM, June 01, 2010  
Blogger slicknik25 said...

i love peas, and always have, even as a kid. this recipe reminded me of a dish i love from lidia bastianich's cookbook, la cucina di lidia. flour up some chicken breasts and pan fry them. when they're done, put them to the side and saute a chopped onion and proscuitto in olive oil until they're softened & cooked through. add white wine and chicken stock and a pat or two of butter and bring to boil. let it reduce by half, add in the peas (fresh are divine, frozen petit peas are good too though) for about two minutes. add the chicken back to heat up and then serve. a PERFECT one pan dish.

thanks for reminding me of it Molly. I'm def making this tonight.

12:16 PM, June 01, 2010  
Anonymous Enzo said...

Food brings back forgotten memories. I was brought up in Southern Italy. A ten course Sunday meal was the norm and still is in many families. I remember a perpetual presence in the middle of the table: a large bowl of “piselli” . People loved to add one of two spoonful on the Ragù or Genovese pasta and later even topping a meat course. Fresh peas were available from every greengrocer in season and frozen peas were an acceptable replacement for the rest of the year. Kids were given the task to “do” the peas, removing them from the pods, a serious job indeed. The recipe was basically the same, the only difference is that my mother did not use butter and added pancetta or prosciutto before the peas. From time to time I still cook peas this way. On toast they’re great but difficult to eat. Now I only use frozen peas.
Great post Molly. I love your blog.

12:44 PM, June 01, 2010  
Blogger secret cake said...

Molly-
Sounds lovely! Would these peas lend themselves well to being spooned over a simple risotto?

2:27 PM, June 01, 2010  
Blogger Caroline said...

I love peas!! I eat peas with cottage cheese and a little bit of pepper. So sweet and simple.

3:40 PM, June 01, 2010  
Anonymous Beth said...

Reminds me of the classic MFK Fisher essay about discovering the wonderfulness of peas, in Switzerland as I recall. I remember reading it and then eating about a pound of peas myself to try to get some of what she was so wild about. Lemon is good on peas, too. Maybe we'll have some for dinner tonight . . .

4:50 PM, June 01, 2010  
Anonymous April said...

I have peas that are calling me from my garden. It's always nice to have a different way to make the old 'traditional' veggies.

I have not cooked with Prosciutto, so I may just omit that one and enjoy the fresh garden grown peas.

You think they would be good blended? They are green, and most anything green can go in a blender?!?

7:08 PM, June 01, 2010  
Blogger figtree said...

I have a confession...I always thought it was weird...but since your a pea lover maybe not. When Im starving and I nothing fresh to eat in the hse, I nuke a bag of pre cooked frozen Trader Joes brown rice, boil a box of frozen peas(now for longer thanks to you..) mix the 2 together and hit it with a few shots of hot sauce.I love it..my family members think its 'sick' they would rather have a bag of chips! ;)

3:16 AM, June 02, 2010  
Blogger Sweet Harvest said...

Who knew peas could be so beautiful! I'm going to throw caution to the wind and trust you on cooking the peas for longer then I’m usually comfortable with. I’m going to go ahead and do these up this weekend. I don’t know about anyone else but I’m imagining tossing in some tender vermicelli noodles to make a light pasta dish as well. Maybe some parmesan…chili? Oh my. Thanks Molly, can’t wait to try these!

6:40 AM, June 02, 2010  
Anonymous Tracy said...

We cook the crap out of ours. Butter, olive oil, salt and pepper...onions, pearl or strands of caramelized red.

10:05 AM, June 02, 2010  
Anonymous CookingSchoolConfidential.com said...

We go crazy for peas. Shelling peas, to be precise. To be eaten, raw, with hunks of bread and olive oil and followed by strawberries (it's that time of year).

Delish.

1:04 PM, June 02, 2010  
Blogger Sami said...

I recently tested the Everyday Granola recipe from Bon Appetit. I like it a lot, thank you, Molly. For those who want to see my comments, you can visit my new blog, A Teenage Gourmet! :)

http://ateenagegourmet.wordpress.com

3:02 PM, June 02, 2010  
Anonymous J2Kfm (Malaysian Food Blog) said...

I have had this aversion towards frozen peas, though I can understand how hard it is to get them fresh everytime.

But mushy peas, or over-cooked, I;d rather take those than undercooked, hardened peas.

5:24 PM, June 02, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the truth for me....I go into some kind of trance when I read your writing. I feel like I must obey. If you told me I absolutely must give beef liver a try I would likely think I haven't lived until I tried it......and I really, really don't like liver. I hope that you don't either.

9:41 PM, June 02, 2010  
Blogger Amy said...

I realize that you have a ton of comments and this post is not brand new, but I just wanted to let you know that I just finished your book (as in 10 minutes ago) and loved it so much I had to review it immediately. If you get a chance, I hope you check it out. I will be telling everyone I know that they need to pick up a copy.

http://amyliz2008.blogspot.com/2010/06/homemade-life.html

9:42 PM, June 02, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This does sound sooo good, and I'm going to try it. However, I have one question (and it may have already been asked, but since there are so many comments I can't go through them all right now), aren't Spring Onions and Scallions the same thing? If so, then what do you mean by "1 spring onion, OR 2 scallions? Thank you!

5:11 AM, June 03, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spring onions resemble scallions, but with a large bulb at the end.

11:05 AM, June 03, 2010  
Anonymous marcia said...

I eat my peas with honey,
I've done it all my life
It may taste kind of funny
But it keeps them on my knife
Old rhyme, possibly Edward Lear

11:16 AM, June 03, 2010  
Anonymous brooklynite said...

I love the way you write. The end.

11:43 AM, June 03, 2010  
Blogger Kait said...

I'm so glad to have found your blog. What a wonderful post about peas. I love peas, fresh and frozen. They add such a wonderful texture, flavor and color to a dish.

1:28 PM, June 03, 2010  
Blogger VinoMama said...

My family always eats pea salad at family gatherings, but it's so smothered in ranch dressing that the poor little peas get lost. I'll have to give this a try so we all remember what a pea actually tastes.
By the way, I tried to get into your restaurant a couple Saturdays ago but the wait was unbearably long. Next time I'm in Seattle, I'll get there right when the oven doors open!

4:39 PM, June 03, 2010  
Anonymous liz engstrom said...

I know you probably get tons of posts -- and mine is sure to fade away in this sea of 108 posts! -- but I wnated to thank you for your book, your recipes and your blog. Your description of your life and the impact your father had on it made me realize how important every single day is. Your memoir is amazing, the recipes great, and the recollections wonderful. Thank you! PS - I LOVE PEAS!

8:38 PM, June 03, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, peas straight from the garden don't need anything - incluidng cooking. My grandmother and I used to shell them, eat them fresh and cook what was left. They did not resemble canned peas or I, too, probably would not have liked them. I also like green beans well cooked with a bit of bacon or blistered as the Chinese cook them; not al dente. Definitely yum. Norine

2:10 PM, June 05, 2010  
Blogger This is it!! said...

This was so yummy, especiallly with poached smoked fish. mmm mmm. Ty

3:59 PM, June 06, 2010  
Blogger eviedee said...

I was skeptical about long cooked peas even after listening to the pea podcast. I think that I may respond better to the written word because you have definitely convinced me to give this recipe a shot.
Love the podcast BTW!

8:51 PM, June 06, 2010  
Blogger Blakeley O said...

We added white wine and served it over homemade pasta. It was wonderful!

3:41 AM, June 07, 2010  
Blogger Zorro3 said...

I'm saving your recipe for when we harvest peas from our community garden. I made your sister, Lisa's, scones this morning. And I made Doron's meatballs and dipping sauce. Wow! Thanks for the stories, too.

5:19 PM, June 07, 2010  
Blogger Lynn D. said...

Cooking the crap out of peas is great. I make the best split pea soup and my dirty little secret is that I use bags of frozen peas.

7:49 AM, June 08, 2010  
Anonymous Lucy said...

I love frozen peas, they make my life so much easier. And simple recipes are great. This sounds really simple and yet really tasty so I'm going to have to give it a go. Especially with prosciutto, I have spent stupid amounts of money on prosciutto over the years!

1:00 PM, June 08, 2010  
Blogger Carol Peterman said...

I would never have thought good things could come from olive green peas. I'll trust you and give it a try.

9:34 AM, June 09, 2010  
Anonymous Fun said...

Dear Molly, I do not like peas but I adore the way you write. Thanks for all the lovely posts.

10:44 PM, June 09, 2010  
Blogger Naja said...

Hello Molly. As many before me have said (and quite often on this particular blog, it seems): I've never posted a comment before. So there you have it; my blog-commenting virginity. Cherish it at will.

But anyhow: I made this recipe, and I saw that it was good, but one thing flabbergasts me: I am unable to turn the peas olive green! I say, I stood at least 40 minutes over the darn things, looking at them reproachfully, and they remained as pretty-spring-minty-green as you please. I am most peeved.

(It was delicious anyway, though - greenity nothwithstanding)

12:35 AM, June 10, 2010  
Blogger Megan said...

Molly! I love your Polaroid photos, but lack a Polaroid camera (or Polaroid camera funds). Thanks to some handy iPhone apps, I've finally figured out how to make something similar.

Thanks so much for your creativity and openness. I read your FAQ's page talking about being a successful blogger and figuring out what you like about your favorite blog's websites and at least now I've got a springboard. Whatever the outcome, my blog has become a hobby I really enjoy and that's something special all in itself.

I hope you'll check out my blog to see the results!
http://madebymaison.blogspot.com/

Cheers,
Megan

8:52 AM, June 10, 2010  
Anonymous Megan said...

I'm also a first-time poster and fairly new to reading your blog. I just wanted to say thanks. After a crappy day at work yesterday, I was feeling crushingly uninspired in the kitchen. So, I decided to take a look at Orangette, which was really my attempt to put off the schlep to the local Safeway. However, not only did I decide immediately to try the peas (which were simple and lovely and just right for the rainy evening) I felt a decided lift reading your post, a smile and a lightening of the spirit. Cooking is good for what ails ya--thanks for the reminder, Molly.

1:27 PM, June 10, 2010  
Anonymous Dawn said...

Loved this post, sure I'll love this recipe - but loved the 'bang the bag around on the counter' part of the recipe most. My kind of detail - !

6:25 PM, June 10, 2010  
Blogger Jocy said...

YUM! Please keep these oven-free recipes coming! I just moved to a place where ovens are a luxury, and I'm grasping for recipes...

4:32 AM, June 11, 2010  
Anonymous Cocoa & Lavender said...

Peas. Prosciutto. Lovely.

5:37 AM, June 11, 2010  
Anonymous joydeep said...

The food looks delicious,I love peas.I am going to try this recipe for sure.

7:07 AM, June 12, 2010  
Anonymous jennifer said...

wow molly, i never thought of making peas this way before. this recipe looks heavenly. i will absolutely try it soon. and when you get a chance, check out my food blog, my fellow foodie. it's www.renaissancekitchen.blogspot.com

thanks!

9:23 AM, June 12, 2010  
OpenID Shelf said...

YUM! I just got back from my farmers market and I was so excited to find fresh peas. I'm making this as a side for dinner tonight and can't wait! Thank You!

10:23 AM, June 12, 2010  
Blogger Flavor of Italy said...

I live in Italy and spend my time cooking in Italy. We do cook vegetables much longer than the tender crisp American approach to veggies. For the peas, we tend to not use the butter and just olive oil, but what the hay1 Butter is SOOO good. I'll add this. We eat many things, veggies included, at room temperature which allows maximum tasting potential. these peas frequently appear this season on antipasto tables in restaurants. I think you'll find they, and other vegetables, are out of this world at room temperature!

2:00 AM, June 14, 2010  
Anonymous Eleana said...

I made these over the weekend and they were really good!

8:37 AM, June 14, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i often put peas in my curries and let them simmer for ages so they get soft and fall apart in the curry...lovely! James www.hawksby.co.uk

11:11 AM, June 14, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew my own English peas for the first time this year. However, I live in Georgia and for the past week - we've been hovering in the hi 90's with 100% humidity so my peas got pulled up last weekend. And I cooked the last batch. Wish I had seen this recipe sooner! I LOVE those tender little peas that only travel from my garden to my table. I will save it for next year or maybe I can find some at a Farmer's Market - but probably not as it is really hot!!!

10:57 AM, June 16, 2010  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

I must find some fresh peas! This dish sound amazing! Thanks for the info regarding the cooking time for peas- I too would have undercooked them by your standards. Love the post. humorous and informational

4:12 PM, June 16, 2010  
Anonymous Ross said...

Looks delicious! I have a weakness for anything containing prosciutto, and peas are one of my "go to" vegetables. I particularly like peas with orrichette pasta, prosciutto and a cream sauce. Yum!

12:18 PM, June 17, 2010  
Anonymous Amy Rose said...

I have been lurking and enjoying recipes for some time... just wanted to say that I accidentally grabbed some of the wrong piggy "p" word at the store (pancetta) and I dropped it in the pan halfway through the "saute the peas" step. Unsurprisingly, it is a great substitution!

2:35 PM, June 18, 2010  
Blogger Jennifer S said...

Frozen Peas are a miracle food in our house. We LOVE them, and we eat them many ways. Thanks for sharing the long cooking concept, one I've not yet tried.

7:41 AM, June 21, 2010  
Blogger isobel said...

Wow. Revelatory. I will try this. I love the Pea Paneer Indian dish. Cheese and peas in a cream curry sauce. They use dried peas traditionally and they are "pea green" in the over cooked sense.

12:28 PM, June 22, 2010  
Blogger Cristal said...

this sounds delicious! I am looking forward to reading more & trying the recipes on your blog.

10:09 PM, June 24, 2010  
Anonymous Marie said...

I like peas directly out of the pod. Canned peas? Meh. Frozen peas? Meh. So maybe I will try this. You make it look tantalizing.

2:37 PM, June 27, 2010  
Blogger Amy said...

Molly, I love reading Orangette on Saturday mornings with my coffee, but I've never posted a comment until now. Peas have moved me. I have never cooked peas past a couple of minutes, I can't wait to try this recipe this week! In the intrest of sharing, check out my recipe for (raw) pea crostini with feta on my blog :)

7:04 AM, July 03, 2010  
Blogger Žiupsnelis Druskos said...

I've made these today for dinner (I had an empty fridge and no wish to go to shpping) and it was fine. But I couldnt help thinking there was something missing..

As so as soon as I've cleared the last pea from my place, I went back to the kitchen, grabbed a bag of frozen peas and drizzled a dash of balsamic vinegar at the end of the cooking time. My god it was delicious! Even though I didnt have any prosciutto left, I believe I've found the missing link and YES i will be making it again. And again. Peas are such an addictive peace of food, dont you think?

Thanks for the idea!

And by the way - re your previous post about 'not cooking real food anymore'. Would these peas count as such? If so, PLEASE do write about them. You manage to bring these simple things into new light and thus this blog is one big discovery trail.

1:23 PM, July 04, 2010  
Anonymous Ilka said...

thank you - I made them yesterday, will make them again, we both ate a huge amount of peas façon Molly, they're great!

4:17 AM, July 09, 2010  
Anonymous Ilka said...

ps: I think it's the garlic that brings out that fabulous extra, and the prosseciuto of course.

we like it this way as well - learned to make it this way from a sweet gay couple in France, who had a Chambre d'Hôte: take some unsalted butter, and 2 - 3 scallions, chopped finely, let them sizzle, add peas (even canned ones are good, without the water in the can), a bit of water, salt & black pepper to taste, crushed bay-leaves and thyme.

4:23 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger Jennifer Jo said...

I made these and posted about them. They are wonderful.

11:19 AM, July 14, 2010  
Anonymous Adrienne said...

I love frozen peas. Part of me feels like I 'should' hate to admit it; but I do not. I adore frozen peas (of course, nothing compares to fresh - popped straight into the mouth). There is nothing more satisfying than having no fresh vegetables in the house, and finding that notorious bag of frozen peas in the freezer. Ahhhh, pea salvation.
I do not know where I came up with it (who knows, it might be a tired n' true recipe) but I adore peas in polenta. When the polenta is almost done, add 'x' amount of cooked frozen peas. The combination - heavenly........

10:47 AM, July 16, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sweet pea Guacamole" is a healthy yummy,favorite at my house Toss in a processor (or vita mix blender for super smooth and creamy version) sweet frozen peas X 1 bag, 4 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup chopped red onion tomato X 1 medium, 2 carrots, 1-2 T lime juice 1-tsp agave nectar, sea salt and cilantro Serve w chips

11:16 AM, July 17, 2010  
Blogger pam said...

Love this combination of peas and proscuitto...I like to kick it up a little more by adding a bit of cream, parmesan cheese and pasta, either fettucine or tortelloni...so good!

8:04 AM, August 01, 2010  
Blogger Jackson Brody said...

Molly, do you think I could do this without the prosciutto? I'm vegetarian, but other than that, this sounds really good.

10:05 PM, September 05, 2010  
Blogger lisamarie said...

I've been wanting to make this ever since you posted it, but my husband doesn't like peas and I'm usually pretty lazy when it comes to cooking just for myself. It was worth the wait - delicious!

10:27 AM, September 16, 2010  
Anonymous Ena said...

I am no expert in the kitchen, my mom is; when I made this she said these were the best peas she's ever eaten!

12:58 AM, November 16, 2010  

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