Bright green peas, with their fresh flavor and sweet crunch, are one of the most welcome signs of spring. They're delicious in all their guises ― sturdy sugar snaps, translucent young snow peas, and delicate English (shelling) peas. Easy to prepare and fast to cook, peas are as simple to use as they are beautiful. Our recipes show off each type's distinctive characteristics. Shred slender snow peas and toss them in a sesame-spiked Asian dressing, combine sugar snaps with meaty scallops in a stir-fry, or use the sweet pods of fresh peas in a delicate soup with crème fraîche. We also combine all three types in a medley with leeks, mint, and cream. Whatever you choose, emerald green fresh peas will brighten up your table.
How to prepare peas
Fresh peas of all sorts need a little preparation before you use them. Here's how.
To shell fresh pod peas, break open the pods by pressing on one end ― the pod should pop open at the seam. Then run your thumb down the opening to release the peas. One pound of peas in the pod yields approximately 1 cup of shelled peas.
To trim edible-pod peas, such as sugar snap and snow, cut or snap off ends and pull up sharply to remove any string on the pea. Discard ends and strings.
To blanch fresh peas (either shelled or whole edible-pod types), if the recipe calls for it, bring water to a boil in a large pan, then add peas. Cook just until they start to turn a brighter green, 15 to 30 seconds, then drain immediately. Rinse well under cold running water until cool, then drain again.