Did you wonder where the name came from? Me too, so I looked it up on Wikipedia. And, according to this all knowing source, “By the 1600s and 1700s it had become popular to eat peas "green", that is, while they are immature and right after they are picked. This was especially true in France and England, where the eating of green peas was said to be "both a fashion and a madness". New cultivars of peas were developed by the English during this time which became known as garden peas and English peas.”
When I was a child, we never said green peas. It was always English peas. In the late winter and early spring, my mother would cook the English peas in water in one pot, and cook peeled new potatoes in another pot. When the peas were done, she added the cooked potatoes and then she made a slurry of milk and flour and poured it through a strainer into the cooked peas and potatoes. She cooked the mixture gently so that the flour could thicken the liquid. I can remember to this day that it was one of the dishes that I looked forward to the most for Sunday dinner. As many times as I’ve tried, I just haven’t been able to make it like she did. But, I still try because I love that dish.
I like the recipe below. It’s an unusual mix of textures and flavors mixed with the English peas. Hope you enjoy it.
English Peas with Lemon & Capers
1 pound petite English peas
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 small lemon, juiced
Cook the peas in a small amount of water with salt to taste, until peas are very tender.
Drain the peas. In a medium skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil. Let the butter start to sizzle and then put in the drained capers. Stir the capers and cook until they start to get brown. This will give them texture. Add the juice of the lemon and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the drained peas, and stir to mix well. Serve hot with slices of fresh lemon on top.
I created this recipe by mistake when I was making chicken with capers and lemon juice. It was better with the peas.
I may have given you this recipe for English Pea Salad, but in case I didn’t, here it is again.
English Pea Salad
1 pound of fresh or frozen peas petite peas, washed and drained
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
If you feel more comfortable blanching the peas, then by all means do. I just used them washed and drained. Combine all ingredients, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled.
By Justin Hancock, Costa Farms Horticulturist,
Photographs courtesy of Costa Farms
Gardening indoors and out come with their own sets of challenges and opportunities, making it easy to master one and struggle with the other. If you're one who puts your focus outdoors, but you want to enjoy the beauty and air-purification properties of houseplants, start here!
Join fellow garden lovers, history buffs and music enthusiasts to discover the quaint towns and colorful gardens of Holland and Belgium in May of 2018.
This exciting journey will be hosted by nationally known host Eric Johnson, of Public Television's blockbuster show GardenSmart. Your river cruise begins in Amsterdam where you'll see works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Anne Frank's House, and see the city's most famous gardens. Then spend a full morning on the grounds of the most beautiful spring garden in the world-Keukenhof! Visit the picturesque Belgian towns of Bruges and Ghent as well as Kinderdijk, with the Netherlands' iconic collection of 19 authentic windmills that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, history buffs will experience a captivating tour of the WWI trenches of Flanders and WWII Arnhem Battlefield of A Bridge Too Far fame. You won't want to miss this extraordinary garden adventure to Holland and Belgium.
Book by November 15, 2017 and save up to $1200 dollars per person!
To register call:
Alki Tours at 800-895-2554
Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!