Peas freshly shelled in the spring are great, but the ubiquitous bag of frozen ones are honestly just as tasty. We usually keep a bag in our freezers so we can toss them into mac and cheese, potato salads and the like. (Or, you know, use them as an ice pack.)
These little green guys deserve star treatment every now and then — especially this time of year, when we wish spring would hurry up and get here already. Here are five flavorful ways to go, from our archives:
Pea, Mint and Radish Salad, above. This comes together quickly and tastes bright and fresh, thanks to an abundance of mint and the crunch of radishes. A little salty boost from crumbled feta is nice, too. You can make most of the salad a few hours in advance, and then add the mint and cheese just before serving. (Full disclosure, though: When we made it, we ate leftovers of the whole assembled salad for lunch the next day and thought it was still pretty great.)
Sweet Pea and Mint Couscous. Consider this a cousin of the salad above, but with quick-cooking couscous mixed in. Add some cooked shrimp, chicken, lamb or tofu and you’ve got yourself a full meal.
Skinny Carbonara With Peas, Almonds and Basil. This pasta has the bones of a classic carbonara (bacon, cheese, raw egg) with an extra boost from peas, almonds, lemon, basil, garlic and yogurt. It’s all ready in 25 minutes or less.
Pea Hummus With Grilled Marinated Lamb. The springy green spread isn’t technically hummus (hummus means chickpeas in Arabic, so “if there isn’t a chickpea in there, it really isn’t hummus,” explains food writer Maureen Abood), but it is definitely delicious when paired with juicy lamb and a sprinkle of mint. If you don’t have a grill pan, you can cook these on a cast-iron skillet. (The skewers make for efficient turning of the lamb chunks, plus help the meat cook evenly.)
Stir-Fried Peas + Spinach. Here’s an easy and satisfying side dish that leaves plenty of room for experimenting. Try it with ginger, fish sauce, mint and cilantro; cumin seed and yogurt; or lots of garlic and basil.
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