Here at the farm, one of the surest flavors of spring are the peas – English or snap, they are the essence of the new season. Although great just on their own (or, as we did last night – in a medley with fava beans), here’s another great idea for how to enjoy the harvest. The recipe is from food52, and as usual you can see the original webpage by clicking on the picture.
Photo credit: James Ransom
Author Notes: These were inspired by the pea pancakes served at Schmidt’s (a German eatery in SF’s Mission District) and the leek fritters from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty; I developed the recipe for my food blog. Make smaller pancakes for a canapé-sized bite (just slice the leeks a little thinner) and substitute one cup of frozen peas if they’re out of season.
Food52 Review: A wonderful springtime pancake full of green vegetables, herbs and earthy flavor. Start by sauteeing some leeks, dill and turmeric for a golden hue, then make a light batter and fold in the star ingredient- English peas. These are tasty and light on their own, or add some yogurt as Kate @ Scarpetta Dolcetto suggests.
- 3/4 pound English peas, in their pods
- 3 large leeks (about 1/2 lb after trimming)
- 1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon dried coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1.25 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup milk, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Shell the peas and set aside. To prep the leeks, discard the green leafy tops and dark green stalks. Slice the leeks into 1? slices and rinse well in a colander to remove any silt.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks (don’t worry about drying them off) and shallots and season with 3/4 tsp salt; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until softened.
- Add the peas, parsley and dried spices to the leek mixture. Cook for 5-8 minutes, smashing with a wooden spoon or potato masher until about 1/3 of the peas are mashed. Let cool a bit.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, eggs, milk and butter together to make a batter. Fold in the vegetable mixture to combine.
- Wipe down the sauté pan with a paper towel and heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Spoon half of the batter into four large fritters and fry, about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden browned and crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and keep warm. Serve with Greek yogurt or crème fraîche and smoked salmon, if desired.
–posted by Steven
This week’s recipe was posted by thirschfeld on Food52.com.
Click on the picture to visit the website.
Photo credit: Tom Hirschfeld/bonafidefarmfood.com
Author Notes: I know most people think of chilly fall days when they hear pea soup. Not this version. It is decidedly a spring soup and if you can lay your hands on fresh peas in the shell all the better. Frozen peas work but it is not at all the same, in fact, if I didn’t have fresh peas I would use sugar snaps or snow peas.
Note: I cook farro really simply. I put it in a pot of lightly salted water. The water covers the grains by at least three inches. I bring it to a boil, boil two minutes then turn off the heat and cover the pot. I then let the pot sit on the stove for two hours but no longer then three. I drain it and now it is al dente. A half cup of dry will make one cup or more of cooked farro.
1/2 cup pancetta, small dice
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup yellow onion, trimmed, peeled and small dice
- 4 cups beef stock
- 1 1/2 cup fresh peas
- 1 cup cooked farro or brown rice, see note in headnote
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- lots of fresh ground black pepper
- flat leaf parsley, minced
- Add the butter and the pancetta to a pan over medium heat. Render the pancetta until it just starts to get crispy while being careful not to burn the butter. You may need to reduce the heat to do this but be patient.
- Add the onions, season them with salt and pepper. Now continue cooking the onions, stirring occasionally, till they are soft.
- Add the broth and farro. Turn the heat up if you need to and bring the pot to a boil. Add the peas, taste the broth and season it as necessary.
- Add the parsley and cook the soup until the peas are just tender. Be careful not to overcook the peas.
- Serve immediately garnishing the soup with more fresh ground black pepper.
–posted by Steven
It may seem a bit strange to offer up a recipe where none of the main named ingredients are in this week’s CSA box, but we think this will actually make sense with a little innovation. The recipe is from Coconut and Quinoa. Instead of ramps, you can certainly use the leeks from this week’s CSA, or wait a week or so and use green garlic. In a few weeks, we will have peas, so if you try this with frozen peas now and like it, you can try it again with fresh – either sugar pod or English. Ramps we won’t be offering this season – we are trying to grow this wild onion variant, but it likes more water than we can spare, so we only have a little test plot for now. Maybe next year….
Click on the picture to visit the website.
The arresting yellow color and aroma of open daffodils beside me, the blinding white blossom outside, slowly giving way to green leaves and the fresh cool breeze entering through the just open window, is a delightful reminder of what’s to come. Since it’s still chilly out a comforting bowl of warm polenta topped with the unique flavors of early spring is just what I crave. More.
There are no local peas available here yet, so I used frozen. If you use fresh, blanch them for a minute or two first. I bought 2 bunches of ramps and used them all. Be sure to wash them well, as they tend to be gritty. You could replace them with a couple of leeks, using the white and green parts.
- 4 cups filtered water
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- Sea salt
- 1 cup corn grits
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling.
- ½ cup sliced ramp stems (1/2 inch pieces)
- 2 cups chopped ramp leaves (1 inch pieces)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh goat cheese, about 3 ounces
- Add the water, bay leaves, rosemary and ½ a teaspoon of salt to a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and rosemary, raise heat and return to a boil. Slowly pour the corn grits in, whisking as you go. Continue whisking, once mixture is boiling, lower heat and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is thick and creamy. To prevent lumps and the mixture sticking to the pot, whisk every couple of minutes.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and additional salt to taste. Cover pot while you cook the ramps and peas.
- In a skillet or frying pan, warm remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add ramp stems and a pinch of salt and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in ramp leaves and peas and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes or until leaves are wilted and peas are heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spoon polenta into bowls and divide the ramps and peas between the bowls. Top with crumbled goat cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Serves 2 generous portions, with a little extra polenta.
–posted by Steven
I’d like to hear from you if you try this recipe. Several of the ingredients are in this week’s box. Use the smoked sigaretta peppers for the paprika, and, of course, the sugar pod peas. Just chop them up – pods and all. Enjoy!
Green Rice with Smoked Paprika
From 101cookbooks.com. Click on picture for original posting and several more pictures.
This is the green rice recipe that got away from me. It was the last thing I cooked before leaving for New York, and I intended to keep it simple. There was some arugula to use up, and a good amount of cooked brown rice. Oh, and some peas. And a nub of Gruyere. That mint isn’t going to last….You see where this is headed? Anyway, I made some green rice, perfectly good, but probably not something I’d bother posting about. Then I added a couple finishing touches, and it turned this into something I was quite excited about, something I’d absolutely make again – so I thought I’d share.
The finishing touches? Smoked paprika and toasted pine nuts. Doesn’t sound particularly special, right? But it was one of those things. Remarkably good. I’ve been on a bit of a smoked paprika kick lately, using it instead of chili peppers, or curry powders, and the like. I thought it’d add some depth and flair here. And it did. The paprika brings a smoked-out boldness that works brilliantly with the creaminess of the pine nuts and the spicy edge of the arugula. I don’t want to completely oversell this, but I thought the flavors came together in a really nice way.
photo credit: 101cookbooks.com
- 2 cups / 14 oz / 400 g brown rice
- 3 cups / 710 ml water
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 big handful peas (fresh or frozen)
- 3+ tablespoons arugula-shallot butter*
- 1 big handful chopped arugula
- 12 mint leaves, torn
- a big handful grated melty cheese (i.e. Gruyere)
- a generous dusting of smoked paprika
- big handful well-toasted pine nuts (or almonds)
- lemon wedges
- In a colander or fine-mesh strainer, rinse the rice and drain. Bring the rice, water, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat in your thickest-bottomed pot. Dial the heat back so the water is just simmering actively – low-med. Cover with tight fitting lid, and try not to peek too often. Cook the rice until the water has been absorbed and the grains are cooked through, usually 40 minutes to an hour. If the grains have cooked but there’s still water to be absorbed, dial the heat up to medium-high until the pan dries out, being careful not to scorch the rice at the bottom. Remove the rice from heat, fluff with a fork, and then stir in the peas. Cover for another five minutes or, long enough for the peas to cook a bit from the residual heat.
- The consistency of the rice is important here – you don’t want it too wet. Too dry is no good either. If you need to work in a bit more water, go for it. Then stir in a big dollop of arugula butter, I start with about 3 tablespoons, and add from there. Stir in the arugula, mint, and cheese. Season with more salt if needed.
- Serve topped with a generous dusting of smoked paprika, plenty of nuts, and a squeeze of lemon juice if you like.
- Serves 6 as a side.
- *Arugula Shallot Butter: To make this compound butter puree 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, a big handful of arugula, 1 medium shallot (peeled), and a couple pinches of salt in a processor for at least 30 seconds – until it is no longer chunky. Add a pinch of sugar or spoonful of honey if you need to balance out the flavor a bit.
- Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 40 min
–posted by Steven