Top | The Cultured Cook
(post, Lisa Howard)
I’m not an early-morning person, especially not on weekends, but I have found something at the farmer’s market that is absolutely worth getting up early for on a Saturday: sugar snap peas. They’re the most crisp, sweet, and pleasantly pea-ish pea I’ve ever had. And to think I might have missed the cute little guys if I hadn’t overheard a passerby rave about the sugar snaps to her friend. “My husband brought home some of these last week, and I just had to come back this week to get more!” That piqued my interest — return customers are always a good sign. ‘Nuff said! I happily handed over $3 in exchange for an overflowing pint of peas. I’d had sugar snap peas before, but none this fresh — these are great eaten out of hand as a snack, or you can simmer them for 2 minutes to soften them a smidge before adding them to stir-frys, salads, even sandwiches or wraps. If you eat them out of hand (my favorite way), you can easily avoid the stem and the hard string running from the bottom to the stem by biting off the bottom, then peeling off the string before nibbling up to the stem, but if you’re going to include them in a dish, the first thing you want to do is snap off the stem. The string will almost always hang on to the stem, so it’s simple to pull off the string, too, before you proceed with simmering or sautéeing the peas. They come neatly wrapped, they’re crunchy and sweet, and they last for a week in the refrigerator if you loosely bag them with a paper towel tossed in the bag (the towel will stave off any moisture-induced mold). Are these cute snubby little peas the perfect snack food or what? Get ‘em while you can!