We arrived back in Umbria Thursday morning and will be spending the next six months here enjoying all the region has to offer. We have been very busy since our arrival getting our farmhouse scrubbed clean from floor to ceiling, our flowers planted, and my kitchen organized. We also managed to squeeze in a visit to Porchettiamo, a festival in San Terenziano, created to celebrate porchetta, as well as a visit to Sansepolcro in Tuscany to see the Giro d’Italia start its 9th stage. Of course, we have also found time to visit two outdoor markets where I found myself buying way too many vegetables for two people to consume. Artichokes, fave beans, asparagus, and spring peas are some of my spring favorites, and I have been busy trying different ways to prepare them over the past four days.
Although I now love peas, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I discovered how amazing fresh spring peas truly are. Growing up, we were often served canned peas, and I developed a terrible dislike for them, finding them mushy and totally inedible. As an adult, peas were the only vegetable I wouldn’t eat until I was married and my Mother-In-Law served me fresh peas cooked with mushrooms. I was amazed that peas could actually taste that fresh and delicious, and now every spring I enjoy fresh peas as often as I can.
When vegetables are very fresh, I find it best not to do too much to them, but instead allow the fresh, natural sweetness shine. I barely blanched my peas, but if your peas are very small, you do not even have to cook them. Instead, simple toss them with the vinegar, oil, and mint, then season with salt and pepper.
Perugia Market Stand Overflowing With Vegetables
My Saturday Market Haul – Artichokes, Fave Beans, Wild Asparagus, Beans, Spring Peas, Tomatoes, Melon, & Peaches
Deborah Mele 2013
Spring Peas With Mint
- 2 Cups Fresh Spring Peas, Shelled
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/3 Cup Fresh Mint Leaves, Finely Chopped
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Cook the peas in a pot of lightly salted, boiling water for 1 minute, drain, and place in a bowl of ice water to cool for 5 minutes.
- Drain the peas and dry with kitchen towel.
- Place the peas in a bowl, then add the oil, vinegar, mint, salt and pepper.
- Toss to mix well, taste and adjust seasonings as needed.