A relative newcomer to our vegetable crisper(a cross between a snow pea and shelling pea), the sugar snap pea, is a 100% edible legume. Now, if you are like me you will need to buy more than you need for when they are peaking they are crisp, sweet and addictive. Like a really delicious baguette you will eat half of your purchase on the way home.
They require a minimalist application – really all you need to do is snap the stem end, and gently remove the thread that runs down one side of the pea. Then, if you must, cook them quickly. I will confess to having a bowl of chilled, raw sugar snap peas as a snack.
Fortunately, these natural little confections will be around throughout the summer. Look for well-developed sugar snap peas that are a bright green, firm with a smooth shell. Store in the refrigerator, unwashed, for a few days, and never let them cook for more than five minutes.
Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas and Fennel - yields 8 servings
1 pound fresh sugar snap peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 fennel bulbs - trimmed and diced
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablesppon fresh, chopped mint
salt and pepper to taste
Trim the stem end of the pea and remove its center thread.
In a high sided 8 inch sauté pan add the oil, fennel and white wine, cook over a high heat for 5 minutes. Add in the peas, mint, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for five minutes. Keep warm and serve.