Off the Menu with Dara can be heard every Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon on News Radio 830 WCCO! See all of Mpls. St.Paul Magazine’s Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl’s Top 5 lists here!
Last week I got a text from a listener who wants to eat more vegetables, but only really liked edamame and snap peas from the garden—so what now? Well, first of all, green peas are seriously underrated nutritionally for some reason. They have lots of antioxidants and are full of anti-inflammatory compounds, and have omega-3 fatty acids in them, as well as lots of fiber and vitamins. I think they’d be a trendy super-food if they were harder to find. There is no reason to feel shame about just really liking green-peas, they’re great for you.
The main thing to know about vegetables is that the ones you eat are the best for you—you get zero health benefit from the ones you don’t eat. I know, hard to believe! I bring the news the other folks won’t tell you. But now that we’ve established that green peas are great, what next? Some very good recipes to get you eating them, more. And loving them lots!
Blistered Snap Peas with Mint
I know you, anonymous texter, love summer snap peas, but you know what? Frozen ones are pretty good, and if you thaw them and then blister them in a hot pan, that’s pretty darn amazing.
Lemony Pea Mash
What’s the difference between avocado and peas? I mean, don’t answer that, but peas do have some of those good healthy fats, and if you mash them up with a bit of preserved lemon that is a delicious thing to put on toast. Really!
Martha Stewart’s Pea Salad
I know a lot of you are crazy with delight over the famous Kincaid’s pea salad, but you can put mayonnaise on your peas at home, to equal acclaim and delight! It’s not that much mayonnaise, anyway. The pea-eating outweighs the mayonnaise, in the nutritional up-down good-bad universe, I’m sure of that.
Lidia’s Peas with Bacon
This is a recipe for a good life—a little pancetta or bacon cut into squares, a few pignoli nuts, a pound of peas. And here’s the bonus: It’s legitimately fancy Italian, because you can tell everyone you got the recipe from Lidia Bastianich. If you want this to be an entrée you can dump the whole thing on risotto or pasta.
Fresh Green Pea Soup
When you hear about green pea soup you naturally think of split-pea soup. (Split peas and green garden peas are close botanic relatives, like field corn and sweet corn or tangerines and oranges.) But get this, you can make a seriously delicious sweet green pea soup with frozen peas, and then dump the whole thing through a strainer. Now it’s just good and barely vegetable-like. This is a top way of getting vegetables into you veggie skeptics, and you’re welcome!