What a retro image! So old-fashioned, so off-trend, so "vintage" it's nearly cool. Whatever, it's my favourite dish of vegetables. I made this with 500 gm of peas and I could have sat down on a muffet and eaten the whole lot with a runcible spoon.
They are peas, petits pois, done my mother's way where there's no such thing as crunchy, under-cooked vegetables. I never eat a plain, boiled, six-minute pea.
As a teenager, as you do, I looked into existentialism, positivism, rationalism, nihilism, humanism, atheism, anarchy and dialectics. At some stage, I was drawn to Charles Fourier (1772 - 1837 Paris), a Utopian Socialist. He believed the transformation of labour into pleasure would lead to harmony and mutual consideration. I particularly liked his ideas on children, (for whom he recommended a diet of preserved peaches and sweet white wine).
He saw children as naturally industrious and it was simply a matter of channelling their energy. (Their passion for filth made them perfect rubbish collectors.) The best occupation to utilise their love of activity and rummaging was the shelling and sorting of peas!
Shelling peas is calm and "mesmerising", perfect for watching Dr Phil. Sadly, whether from a farmers' market or a supermarket, whether organic, macrobiotic, biodynamic, bucolic or hydroponic, they are disappointing.
Fourier's peas would have been shelled and cooked within minutes of being picked from the vine. Our peas in the pod can be days before arriving at a greengrocer's shelf, then days before being sold, only to hang around a bit longer before being prepared in one's kitchen. As soon as pods are picked, the sugar in the peas begins converting to starch resulting eventually in "bullets". (Sorry, but...)
Are frozen peas better than fresh? IMO, yes, especially if you choose "baby" peas. There are no other vegetables that benefit as peas do from snap freezing.
Petit pois à la française (Peas in the French manner)
4 people - unless you want to eat them all yourself
500gm frozen "baby" peas
50 gm diced bacon (very, very optional)
50 gm -70gm sliced onion or spring onions, keeping some of the green
50 gm diced carrot (optional)
60-80 gm lettuce, either leaves or heart
A very flexible recipe, of course. If not using bacon, use the larger amount of onion, for the umami. If using spring onions, cut into 7 cm pieces, using the white and some of the green. It's nice to have a couple of small lettuce hearts but sliced outer leaves you don't know what to do with, work very well.
The question remains however. How does one eat peas? I'm researching the answer.
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