Early Hertfordshire Pea and Feta Crush
It’s Saturday morning and the high street is buzzing with lots of people going about their normal Saturday business. I was dashing about to complete all the tasks on my list until I came to a complete standstill in front of the local fruit and vegetable stall…..
…….I spotted them! In their tight grass green jackets all packed in tightly like sardines in a can. New season garden peas.
They were so tight in their fresh new season pods that they almost looked like square peas instead of round.
They were not just any peas they were peas from Hertfordshire! It’s my locality and I was so incredibly pleased to have found vegetables on offer that were picked that morning from no more than a 5 miles away. Now that is what I call local and fresh!
I was pretty impressed as I did not expect to see peas around until early July, but then I can confirm that even the peas in my garden have flourished over the past week, the pods are swollen and give it a few more days then I could start my own mini pea harvest festival. I have been using the pea tops to brighten up my salads and sandwiches. I have planted two batches of peas one Late April and the second mid May so that I’m ensured to have fresh garden peas available for good period of time.
I was eating them faster than mum could pod them, they were fresh, sweet and juicy. The freshness and age of these peas inspired me to use them completely raw for this recipe. I crushed them in the Thermomix and macerated them with a generous amount of good fruity cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and a sprinkling of sumac and cumin. A scattering of feta cheese and pea tops complete this dish beautifully. A true reminder that summer has arrived!
- 250g podded fresh new season garden peas
- 1tbs cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbs chopped fresh mint
- 1tsp chopped fresh tarragon
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- Freshly crack black pepper and course sea salt
- Pinch of ground cumin
- Pinch of sumac
- 4 spring onions, sliced on a angle
- 200g feta cheese
- Pea tops
Place the washed podded peas in the thermomix bowl, add the oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and cumin. Crush the peas by pressing the turbo button a couple of times until the peas are crushed but not completely pureed. Your looking for the crushed peas to still have some half bits of peas. I like my crushed peas to have a course texture. However this depends on individual taste. If you like a smoother texture pulse a couple of extra times.
Empty the crushed peas into a mixing bowl and add the lemon zest, sliced spring onions, chopped tarragon, mint and the sumac. Use a spatula to fold the ingredients together.
Adjust the seasoning if needed.
Spoon the peas into the serving dish and garnish with the crumbed feta cheese, pea tops and a sprinkling of sumac.
Food Fanatics Tip
Later on in the season when the peas are bigger and not so tender then quickly blanch the peas in hot salted boiling water for a few minutes and refresh in icy cold water. This will tenderise the peas without loosing the freshness. You can also use frozen peas as they are harvested and preserved in such a manner that they capture the freshness as if it was harvested that day. This recipeis prefect as a side dish for a barbecue or picnic.