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Fast Food My Way: Purée of Peas with Mint and Cilantro

This is an excellent example of Jacques Pépin's skill at taking convenience products -- in this case, frozen peas -- and turning them into something special. The peas and herbs combine to create a vibrant, intense green purée that looks and tastes fantastic.

Pépin notes that the peas must be puréed immediately after cooking, since if they sit unprocessed, their skins will shrink and toughen. Be sure to use peas labeled "baby" or "petite." These are the youngest, sweetest peas with the most tender skins.

This would make a very nice side dish for broiled chicken, or grilled halibut. I used the 2 tsp of jalapeño called for in the recipe, but hardly noticed any heat in the finished dish. If you'd like a bit more spice, try adding more jalapeño.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1 pound frozen baby peas
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 tsp chopped jalapeño pepper, or more if desired
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Bring 3 cups salted water to a boil. Add the frozen peas and bring back to the boil, which will take about 3 to 4 minutes. Boil gently for 1 1/2 minutes, then drain, reserving a few Tbsp of the cooking water.

Immediately transfer the peas to the food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Process to a fine purée, adding the reserved cooking water if the mixture is too thick to purée properly.

Serve immediately. Can also be made up to 2 days ahead. Reheat in the microwave before serving.

 

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©2005 Colleen Flippo. All rights reserved. Contact the author.