8 of our favourite pea recipes

8 of our favourite pea recipes

by Great British Chefs 20 August 2019

Throughout summer, the ubiquitous frozen pea makes way for the fresher, still-in-their-pods variety. Harry Leeds picks out eight delicious recipes that make the most of these verdant little spheres.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

The humble pea is often overlooked as an ingredient, but with the right amount of care and attention it can take centre stage. Frozen peas are the norm and there’s nothing wrong with them at all (most are usually frozen within hours of being picked, rather than languishing on shop shelves for a week) but when fresh British peas are in season you should always try and get your hands on them. The fresh, sweet flavour means they barely need to be cooked, and they’re often plumper and fuller than their frozen counterparts.

For such little things, peas are big in flavour. They can be paired with all sorts of ingredients – mint is a classic and brings out their freshness, while rich butter and creamy mozzarella create a contrast. Peas are also incredibly versatile; as well as being boiled and served whole, they can be mashed, steamed or made into a puree to complement any dish you have in mind.

Fresh peas are one of summer’s great joys, so they should always be at the top of your shopping list when they’re at their best. The eight recipes below will always stand out during the warmer months, but because frozen peas are of such high quality they’re a great choice year-round, too. Have a look and rediscover one of Britain’s best ingredients.

Scallops, pea purée, shoots and cumin foam

Whilst simple to make, this recipe is guaranteed to bring the wow-factor to any dinner party – the key is to source the best ingredients you can. Peas are whipped up into a wonderful puree, then paired with simply seared scallops and a cumin foam on top, to add a bit of theatre.

Charcoal-grilled lamb chops with peas

These smoky lamb chops are perfect for a summer barbecue as they are quick and easy to make. The fresh peas pair perfectly with the lamb, benefitting from aromatic garlic and cumin to create a classic combination. Once the lamb takes on some char from the coals it should be perfectly pink within, and any juices are added to the pea dressing for extra flavour. Very little experience or equipment is needed for this recipe, so it’s a great dish to have in your repertoire when friends come over.

Peas on toast

Cheese on toast: check. Avocado on toast: ubiquitous. Peas on toast? Not something you see that often, but it can be made in minutes and offers something a little lighter and fresher than traditional toppings. Add some mint to the peas to really bring out their fresh and vibrant flavour, then stir through some fresh torn mozzarella for an indulgent, creamy finish.

Pea soup

This classic vegetarian dish can be enjoyed on its own or with some lovely warm bread for dipping (as is suggested). While a standard pea soup is all well and good, this particular recipe adds a few extra flourishes, such as Tabasco and curry powder, to enhance the flavour. It might take a little longer to make than your average pea soup, but the final result is well worth it.

Butter-steamed lemon sole, English garden pesto, asparagus and pea salad

This slightly unusual way to cook fish results in an unbelievable taste and texture. Normally we fry flat fish such as lemon sole, but in this recipe the fillets are placed on buttered parchment paper and left to steam for a few minutes. Served with a simple pea salad, it makes a wonderfully indulgent lunch – swap out the asparagus for some more seasonal greens during the summer months.

Crushed garden peas

This simple side dish is one of the best ways to enjoy peas when they’re in season, as it really allows their flavour to shine. Bolstered by butter, shallot, mint and garlic, this is a dish that can be ready in ten minutes.

Braised duck leg, sweet young peas, lettuce, bacon and mint

British peas are an ideal accompaniment to duck, especially with added bacon and lettuce. While the duck leg is slowly cooked until meltingly tender, the fresh peas are given just a lick of heat so they still have a slight bite, then pepped up with spring onion and mint.

Pea and honey-roasted gammon salad with pea soup

This wonderful starter takes the classic combination of gammon and egg and amps up the flavour. The colourful pea soup acts as a base for the crispy, deep-fried egg and salty braised gammon, creating a dish that’s both familiar yet exciting.