Peas are a member of the Legume family (alongside beans and lentils) and are said to be one of the earliest vegetables grown. Fresh peas are a very popular vegetable but have a short season.The majority of peas grown in Ireland are sent for processing. They are rich in good quality protein and carbohydrate and are therefore used in many vegetarian dishes as a meat substitute. They are also a good source of fibre, Vitamins A and C, folic acid, phosphorus and iron.
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For more information on nutrition and the details given above, check out our nutrition page.
Preparing and Using
If buying peas, they should be as fresh as possible. In top condition, the pods should be bright green, the more withered the pod, the longer they have been stored incorrectly.Before cooking peas they will need to be shelled. Then they can be cooked in a pan of rapidly boiling water with some mint.Alternatively they can be cooked in a steamer.Don’t overcook peas, as they will lose their colour and flavour, and some of their nutrients.They can be blanched and refreshed to use in salads. They add colour to rice or pasta salads.
One of the first recipes for peas was “petits pois à la française” (peas cooked with small hearted lettuce), which is still a popular dish.Peas are used in many Indian dishes and vegetarian recipes. They are also used to make soup – minted or with bacon, for example.Peas can be added to frittata and omelettes and risottos. Adding peas to mashed potato is another way to serve them. They can be used in stir-fries and curries, stews and casseroles.When served as a vegetable they can be mixed with spinach or baby onions, carrots or corn or served with a minted sauce.
Flavours and ingredients that go well with peas include orange, lemon, mint, lettuce, spinach,wine, bacon, Indian spices, Thai spices and cream.
For some Pea recipes, visit the Bord Bia website here
Striploin Steaks with Roasted Baby Tomatoes and Vegetable Puree
If you are looking for an impressive dish packed full of flavour, then this is it! The purée can be made well in advance. Use whatever green vegetables are in season; or frozen broad beans or peas, which are readily available also work well.
Cheesy Grilled Fish
This has to be one of the easiest and tastiest fish dishes in the world – perfect for children and adults alike.