You know when someone makes a sassy comment about you and you stand there awkwardly and blurted out some lame response? Then half hour later, while on your way home, you think of the PERFECT comeback, but your enemy is no where in site. Yeah, that’s kind of how I cook sometimes. I get super excited when spring turns to summer and there’s so much yummy FRESH produce at the farmer’s markets–I almost don’t know what to do with myself. So I buy things–kale, mustard greens, various squashes, rhubarb–and when I get home experience total cooking-block and can’t think of anything creative to make! That’s what happened with the peas.
Last year, I discovered fresh peas at Fort Greene Greenmarket for the first time. Now I know where peas come from and how they grow, but for some reason I had never seen them fresh before, only frozen, canned or dried. Kind of like chamomile, I’ve seen it dried and love it in tea, but never seen it fresh–except for THIS WEEK in my Tribeca CSA share, but that’s for another day. Anyway, back to the peas… After my new discovery of fresh peas, I was super eager for them to arrive at the market this year. I waited, and waited, and then one week as I did my weekly visit to the City Hall Greenmarket, there they were. Then again at Fort Greene, and again at Grand Army. Fresh peas everywhere! So I bought them on a few occasions, brought them home, and was stumped. What they heck do you do with peas?
I was slightly adventurous the first week, making spaghetti carbonara (the real way–as in no cream), but after that, just sauteed or cooked as a boring old side dish. Then Sunday, going through the freezer, found some ground lamb and remembered the PERFECT recipe! We’ve always had it with frozen peas but imagined how amazing it would be with fresh ones! I looked Monday at the Union Square Greenmarket and again Tuesday at City Hall. No peas. I missed my window.
So as a reminder, and for any of you out there that can still get fresh peas, I wanted to document this recipe on the internet, where it will now live FOREVER. If you can’t get fresh peas, it’s still really good with frozen peas. It’s also one of those recipes that tastes even better tomorrow or the next day.
Ground Lamb with Peas
- 3 tbsp safflower oil (or oil of your choice)
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 tomatoes chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 c peas (I usually use a bit more)
Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add onions and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and reduce to a simmer. Add all spices and stir until mixed well. Turn the burner back up to med-hi and add lamb, mixing and cooking until no longer pink. Add peas and cook for another 3-4 min until tender. Serve over couscous. Makes about 4 servings.
- Lamb and Broad Bean Curry (girlinterruptedeating.wordpress.com)
- Summer Pea and Thyme Risotto with Manchego and Olive Tapenade (foodblogandthedog.wordpress.com)
- Peas, Peas, Everywhere! (ahealthylifeforme.com)