And they exploded all over the microwave. Keep reading for the details. 😉
Seriously, though, I got a bunch of fresh peas from my CSA last week, and have made some absolutely delicious meals with them. Despite what some of my friends say (ahem, Jaime C. and Bethany), fresh peas are so delicious, especially with asparagus in a “cream” sauce, or in a walnut “peasto.”
Pea and Asparagus Cream Sauce
This was so good, I made it two nights in a row. The second night, I sauteed red and orange bell peppers in with the asparagus. Also a winner. YUM!
Leeks (you could use either/or but I like both)
Wash asparagus and trim woody ends. Cut each spear into two or three pieces. Sautee in olive oil until they begin to soften, then add shelled fresh peas, until they begin to soften as well. Do not overcook, as you will be letting them simmer in the sauce later, but make sure they aren’t too raw either.
In another pan, sautee sliced leeks and shallots (to taste – I like a LOT) in a dab of butter until they begin to become translucent. Add a large spoonful or two of cream cheese, stirring or whisking until melted, then add approx. 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%). Whisk until sauce is smooth, then add asparagus & peas and let simmer. Add parmesan if desired. If the sauce starts to thicken while you are waiting for the rest of your meal to be ready, add a little more milk, heat and whisk.
Serve over a chicken breast. I like to sear it for a minute or two on each side, and then stick the whole pan in the oven at 400 degrees, for about 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breast. I’m sure it would be delicious over pasta as well. Seriously, the combo of asparagus + cream (or milk, as the case may be) + peas cannot be beat!
Walnut Cream “Peasto”
My friend Jen once watched an episode of Rachael Ray where she made a pea pesto and could not stop saying “peasto.” “It’s like a pesto… with peas! Peasto! Get it?” We get it, Rachael. Anyway, I looked up the recipe and didn’t have any of the basic ingredients on hand, so I just kind of winged it. I wanted to use pecans, but am all out – must have been that last batch of pecan butter. So walnuts it was! I also decided to make this a creamy pesto at the last minute.
Handful walnuts (could prob sub in pecans or another nut. Pine nuts would be great, too)
Shelled peas (about 1/4 cup)
To cook the peas, after shelling, I put them in a little water, and microwaved for a minute. This is where the explosion came in! They were popping like popcorn after only about thirty seconds. So, beware: cover the dish or cook for a shorter period of time!
In food processor, blend until combined but still slightly chunky:
Glug of olive oil
In a pan, sautee leeks and shallots in olive oil, add a spoonful of cream cheese until melted, then add milk (this is similar to the cream sauce above, but I used oil instead of butter, and smaller portions).
Combine “peasto” and cream sauce.
I enjoyed this over organic garlic-gorgonzola ravioli, but bet it would be delicious over chicken or fresh fish.
As you can see, my recipes are not exact. I like to taste and add – the only problem is when you find that perfect combination, you might not remember exactly what was in it!