We got to wondering this past week why peas get such a bad reputation. Maybe it's because of their traditional presentation as overcooked, off-color mush next to a steak and potatoes dinner. Well not in this kitchen! We are elevating peas back to their rightful (and sexy) place in our diets with this week's recipe. We swear you'll never think of peas the same again.
The first problem we've found with pea preparation is that they are often served cooked, when really we find them to shine when served raw. Now there are many varieties of peas but what we are referring to this week are "green peas" also known commonly as garden, English, or pod peas and not to be confused with snow peas or sugar snap peas which are served in the pod. Green peas should be removed from the pod, or shelled, and can be served raw or cooked though we much prefer raw. Peas are sweet and starchy and when raw have a nice firm texture similar to grapes. And though commonly thought of as a vegetable, peas are high in complex carbohydrate and nutritionally more similar to corn or potatoes. During the spring and early summer peas can be found raw in the pod or pre-shelled and are very easy to find frozen year round. When using frozen peas we suggest steaming until just thawed because once cooked they can start to become off color and mushy, which is fine if that's what you like but we prefer our peas on the sexy side. Yes, peas are sexy. Don't believe us? On to the recipe...
Spring Pea and Fava Bean Salad
PREP TIME: 45 mins + 8-12 hour soaking time
TOTAL TIME: 50 mins + 8-12 hour soaking time
1 cup green peas, shelled (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup dry shelled fava beans (1 cup cooked)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cracked black pepper
5 oz butter lettuce
1/2 cup bean/vegetable sprouts of choice
1/4 cup grated cotija cheese (or fresh grated parmesan)
1/2 cup whole milk plain kefir
2 tsp chopped parsley
1 tsp chopped dill
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
Cracked black pepper to taste
Begin by pre soaking dried shelled fava beans for at least 8 hours, or overnight, in room temperature water. Once the beans have soaked, drain and add beans to a large pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and slightly cover with a lid allowing a little air to escape. Continue to cook the beans until tender but not falling apart ~40-50 minutes. Carefully drain beans then add 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/8 tsp sea salt, and 1/8 tsp cracked black pepper and set aside to come to room temperature.
If using frozen peas, allow to thaw by letting them sit out while the fava beans are cooking, or lightly flash steam until soft in texture ~2 minutes in a basket steamer and allow to cool to room temperature. If using fresh peas make sure to rinse peas well then set aside.
Meanwhile, to make the dressing combine kefir, chopped parsley, chopped dill, lemon juice, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper. Mix dressing with a fork until fully combined.
Wash and tear butter lettuce and divide among 4 plates. Wash and dry sprouts and add to each plate. Add cooled fava beans, peas, and cheese to each salad. Generously add dressing to the top of each salad. Serve and enjoy!
Okay so you get it now? Peas are amazing! And they deserve a spot in our kitchens and diets. Not to mention this salad which is basically spring perfection with the fresh crunch from the butter lettuce and sprouts, satisfying starchiness from the peas and fava beans, and all topped with salty cheese and a too good to be true "ranch" style dressing. So join the pea revolution and spread the word starting with this recipe.
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.