Dining with Debbie: Peas, pretty please?

One of the earliest of the spring vegetables to appear is also one our family really enjoys- sweet peas. --THV11.com 04/26/16

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - One of the earliest of the spring vegetables to appear is also one our family really enjoys— sweet peas. Having those fresh peas available during their short season either from the garden or farmers market causes a flurry of pea recipes to appear on our menu. We never seem to tire of them.

While I am not inclined to use canned sweet (also known as spring or English) peas, I find the fresh frozen variety satisfactory. While peas are delicious on their own as a vegetable side, they can be combined in a multitude of other ways.

Give these favorites of ours a try.
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PAPPARDELLE WITH PEAS, PARM and PANCETTA
Serves 4

Ingredients

• 4 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
• 3 cups freshly shelled sweet peas (substitute frozen baby sweet peas)
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus additional
• 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
• 1 pound fresh or dried pappardelle
• 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
• kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For complete directions see Dining With Debbie

Note:  If you can’t find pappardelle, used dried fettuccine or penne. Prosciutto, thick-sliced bacon or ham may be substituted for the pancetta, if desired. Add olive oil to the skillet in place of the rendered pancetta fat when using ham.

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DIJON-TARRAGON SALMON with BUTTERED PEAS
Serves 4

Tarragon is an herb with narrow, pointed, gray-green leaves with a distinctive anise or licorice flavor. Only the leaves are edible. It is excellent with seafood, fruits, poultry, eggs and most vegetables, as well as sauces, particularly bearnaise sauce. Tarragon can easily dominate other flavors,so use it lightly. Tarragon leaves should be used fresh, as the aroma of dried tarragon is usually very weak. French or German tarragon is sweet and aromatic, reminiscent of fennel, anise and licorice. Russian tarragon has coarser, paler leaves and is not fragrant and tastes slightly bitter. The French variety is usually the preferred variety for cooking. (food.com)

Ingredients for Dijon-Tarragon Salmon

• 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 3 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
• 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
• 4 6-ounce center-cut salmon filets

Ingredients for Buttered Peas

• 2 tablespoons unsalted Butter
• 1/4 cup minced shallots
• 1/4 cup thinly sliced leeks, white parts only
• Kosher Salt
• 2 cups cooked fresh sweet peas or thawed frozen sweet peas
• 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves; plus whole leaves for garnish
• 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme Leaves
• 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
• 1/4 cup water (use water from blanched peas if you have it)

Directions for Salmon

Set the broiler rack 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the broiler to high.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir together the Dijon, tarragon and mayonnaise.

Place the salmon on the baking sheet and slather the tops and sides with the mustard mixture.

Broil until opaque on top but still slightly translucent in the middle, about 8 minutes. Do not overcook.

Directions for Buttered Peas

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-low heat.

Add the shallots and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the shallots are just translucent, about 1 minute.

Add the peas, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, until heated through.

Add the tarragon, thyme, lemon zest, water, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter, stirring, until the peas are glazed, about 5 minutes.

Plate a serving of the peas and top with broiled Dijon-Tarragon Salmon.

Garnish with more tarragon, if desired.

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SPRING PEAS AND RADISH SALAD WITH MINT AND PARSLEY
Serves 4

• 1/2 pound fresh sweet peas, shucked (substitute flash frozen)
• 1  bunch radishes (multicolored if you can find them), trimmed and shaved
• 1 bunch fresh mint leaves, shredded (about 1 cup)
• 1 bunch parsley leaves, shredded (about 1 cup)
• 1/2 cup finely shredded carrots, if desired
• 2 cups arugula, coarsely chopped*
• 2 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
• Fine zest of 1 lemon
• 2-3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• ! shallot, finely minced
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Shaved Parmesan as garnish

For complete directions see Dining With Debbie

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NIGELLA’S EASY SPRING PEA SOUP
Serves 2 - 4

Ingredients
• 1 tablespoon garlic-infused oil
• 2 scallions, finely sliced
• 4 cups (two 10-ounce packages) frozen peas
•  Chicken or vegetable stock concentrate (powder, paste or cube)
• 2 to 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
1. Place a saucepan over medium-low heat, and add oil and scallions. Stir until heated, then add frozen peas. Stir well with a wooden spoon.
2. Add 3 cups boiling water and stock concentrate to taste. Cover, and cook at a lively simmer until peas are tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool until no longer steaming.
3. Transfer soup to a blender. Add cheese, and purée until mixture is very smooth. (Or use an immersion blender.)
4. Serve immediately or, if desired, reheat to taste. Serve with garlic or pasta crostini.

(Adapted from Nigella Lawson)

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SWEET PEA AND GARBANZO BEAN HUMMUS MADE EASY

(I am a brand ambassador for Bush’s Beans, maker of Hummus Made Easy.)

Ingredients
• 1 15.8-ounce can Bush’s Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 cup fresh sweet peas (or thawed frozen)
• 1 6-ounce package Hummus Made Easy Classic*
• 3/4 teaspoon ground ancho chili powder
• 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• Chopped chives, scallions, parsley or red pepper as garnish

Directions

1. Combine Bush’s Garbanzo Beans, sweet peas, Hummus Made Easy Classic, ancho chili powder and garlic powder in the bowl of a food processor.

2. Process, stopping occasionally to wipe down sides, until the hummus is smooth and or desired consistency.

3. Garnish and serve with sugar snap peas, carrot chips or wheat thins.

4. This keeps well in the refrigerator for several days. I think the flavor gets even better if made a day ahead, but it is fine to eat immediately after making.

5. *Try the Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Made Easy for a slightly spicier taste.


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