Spring Peas with Crème Fraiche and Herbs


It’s rare to find English peas in a supermarket at that perfect stage of maturity, when they have filled out their pods and you can feel the peas distinctly but they have yet to become overlarge and starchy. Purchased from a farmers’ market, peas are much more likely to be recently picked, moist and sweet. In this recipe, the peas are braised with butter and spring onions and finished with thick crème fraîche to make a side dish for roast leg of lamb, lamb chops or roast chicken. You can prepare carrots by the same method. From Eating Local.

  • 2 pounds English peas
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced spring onions or green onions
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh mint or 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives or chopped chervil
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Shell the peas; you should have 2 to 2-1/2 cups. Melt the butter in a small, wide saucepan. Add the spring onions and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the peas and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes or a little longer, depending on the age of the peas. If the pan threatens to cook dry, add a few more tablespoons of water.

 When the peas are tender, uncover, raise the heat to high and evaporate the excess liquid. Reduce the heat to moderate and stir in the crème fraîche and herbs. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer, and serve immediately.

Serves 4