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Friday Favorite: Garden Peas

July 12th, 2013

I’ve always been a big fan of garden peas, they’re just so sweet and tasty.  I rarely every have enough for freezing, most of them are enjoyed within a few hours of being picked.
shelling peas 1
Since I never end up with enough peas for the freezer, this year I planted a ton.  Two seventy foot long rows to be exact, along with a few six foot rows in the back potager for fresh eating. I grew ‘Green Arrow’ from High Mowing Seeds as my main crop peas. Other sowings included: ‘Little Marvel’, ‘Lincoln’, and ‘Dakota’.
shelling peas 2
My plan finally worked, on Wednesday evening we spent an hour shelling peas. After shelling our harvest weighed in at 8 pounds. They were blanched and packed into two cup glass containers for freezing.
shelling peas 3
Typically I’m not much of one for freezing or canning much from the garden, peas are the exception because winter soups and stews just aren’t the same without them!
shelling peas 4
We’ve also been enjoying our share fresh from the garden. Mostly, I’ve been steaming them then tossing them with butter and some homemade duck breast prosciutto. I always read about traditional recipes featuring peas and mint, but somehow I just can’t bring myself to put mint with peas. One of these days I will.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy garden peas? Do you like peas and mint together?

18 Comments to “Friday Favorite: Garden Peas”
  1. Bettina on July 12, 2013 at 5:20 am

    Peas for me … steamed and then buttered with a little bit of spring onion, and freshly ground pepper.

    But I also love them in a pasta salad:

    500g Pasta (dry weight, cooked) maccaroni or fusili
    250g Salami (cubed)
    250g Emmental cheese (cubed)
    1 large onion (chopped)
    2 cups fresh garden peas (steamed and then cooled)
    1 red bell pepper (chopped) or alternative green, yellow, orange or all of them
    3 tbsp mayonnaise
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1/2 cup milk (or a little more)
    cayenne pepper

    to season

    Mix all together in a big bowl and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

    Great for a party, but I love it on hot summer weekends. I make it fresh in the morning on Saturday and it is a nice cold meal whenever I feel like it without having to cook a lot.

    Reply to Bettina's comment

  2. Patti on July 12, 2013 at 6:39 am

    I never liked peas til I grew my own. Now I love them! They are wonderful just picked and eaten in the garden or lightly steamed and a bit of butter added. Why fool with perfection?

    Reply to Patti's comment

  3. Joan on July 12, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Fresh from the garden, or cooked with a little butter and fresh dill. Pasta salad is great too… I seldom freeze shelling peas, they’re so much work for little output! I envy you the help that you get with them – I see the two of you in your picture shelling them together. If I could entice my husband or son to help more often with the shelling I’d grow more!

    I do love them though, and when I have them they are such a treat in the winter. They’re one of the few vegetables that I’ll sometimes treat myself to from the store if I don’t have any in the freezer – I have a couple of soup recipes that just aren’t the same without peas. I just picked the last of mine yesterday – I’ll miss them. Maybe I’ll plant again in hopes of a fall crop!

    I freeze lots and lots of snap peas though – they’re good frozen and so much easier.

    Reply to Joan's comment

  4. angie h on July 12, 2013 at 7:36 am

    so how many cups did 8 lbs generate? This gives me an idea on how much to plant in the future! I love peas. My grandma makes pea salad with just peas, onion, seasonings, and mayo.

    Reply to angie h's comment

    • Susy on July 12, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      26 cups of peas. I have 14 containers that are 1 7/8ths cup each.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • angie h on July 13, 2013 at 7:48 am

        wow, awesome!

        to angie h's comment

  5. Adelina Anderson on July 12, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Duck breast prosciutto? Where did you get the recipe? That sounds lovely!

    Reply to Adelina Anderson's comment

  6. AmyS on July 12, 2013 at 7:47 am

    I actually made some macaroni salad last evening with garden fresh peas! I only wish now I would’ve planted more. Will for next year. I like to keep them in the freezer too then I can just pour them into recipes that may actually not have them listed as an ingredient but somehow make it look and taste better.

    Reply to AmyS's comment

  7. Lemongrass on July 12, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Peas, peas, peas!!! I always add fresh spearmint and a pinch of lemon balm to my pasta and peas salads.

    Reply to Lemongrass's comment

  8. Felicakes on July 12, 2013 at 10:46 am

    We plant peas here too in my little container/small space garden. They are the best and failproof. :) i usually have them tossed in butter then add to my salad lunch. Yum.

    Reply to Felicakes's comment

  9. Heidi on July 12, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I just bought some at the farmer’s market yesterday! I can never seem to get the seeds in the ground early enough to grow my own. I love them with olive oil, a couple cloves of garlic and HUGE amounts of parsley. More than you think is necessary—we had them in Italy and they are fantastic and super easy.

    Reply to Heidi's comment

  10. Michelle on July 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    I love peas. But I’m not a big mint fan…so I would pass on that combo. My grandmother used to make the frozen ones with that light cream sauce and pearl onions…I loved them. I still make them occasionally (yes frozen) but I’m the only one in my family who eats them. I’m sure you could make your own version of peas and onions in cream sauce..and I’m SURE they’d be so much better with everything being homegrown and organic. Mmm!!

    Reply to Michelle's comment

  11. Kay on July 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    I grew snow peas this year and they did pretty good. I am thinking about growing english peas next year.

    Reply to Kay's comment

  12. Joy Giles on July 12, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    When we were kids, Mom would pick peas and bring bushels home for shelling and freezing. You didn’t dare sit around looking like you had nothing to do, otherwise you ended up at the pea shelling circle and on your way to very sore fingers. In reality, you ended up shelling peas no matter what. Although, they sure tasted good in the depths of winter.

    Reply to Joy Giles's comment

  13. amy on July 12, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Straight from the garden into my mouth:)

    Reply to amy's comment

  14. elizabeth on July 13, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I freeze a lot of kale, basil and rhubarb and usually freeze peas also, but I’m picky about peas and have a hard time getting them picked at just the right time. Last year some of my frozen peas were a little starchy for my liking, I don’t think I’ll freeze any this year, unless they are just perfect. Have you tried making stock with the pea pods?

    Reply to elizabeth's comment

  15. elizabeth on July 13, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Which variety of peas did you like the best?

    Reply to elizabeth's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      I really can’t tell a difference between them. As far as main crop go, the ‘Green Arrow’ are great because they have large pods filled with peas and produce a good flush at once.

      Reply to Susy's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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