They're more than a side dish: Pea recipes and cooking tips

A trusty bag of peas are always kept in the freezer, an instant side for dinner dotted with a spot of butter and salt and pepper.

But it's time to get inventive now that the summery pea season is upon us.

Some think you'd have to be mad to while away your afternoon popping peas from their pods, but others would argue it’s a perfectly therapeutic way to spend a summer's afternoon – the radio on, sitting in the sun, with the sound of a pop-pop-pop and a big pile of green. And the joy of fresh peas?

Firstly, having them raw, slipped into summery salads, with soft goat's cheese, some chopped fresh mint and a few broad beans for company – maybe some torn little gem too.

Or try them crushed on bruschetta with feta and topped with spring onions, a good drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Interestingly, the little pods have featured in our diets from as far back as 5000BC popping up everywhere from Egypt to India.

Our little tip for when you make a pea puree or soup: if you’re cooking ahead of time, cool it down as quickly as possible – it'll keep the peas as green as can be.

And in case you're stuck for ideas, check out our delicious pea recipes:

Roast chicken noodle soup with leeks, peas and dill

Pea, beetroot, roasted red pepper and goat's cheese open tart

Bruschetta with Smashed Peas and Crispy Pancetta

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