Give Peas a Chance!
Peas are most often kept on hand for the rare case of a black eye. But these tiny green spheres are far more useful than the common ice pack: Whether plucked freshly from the pod or poured directly from a frozen bag, they can be used in all sorts of applications that make them one of the most versatile ingredients I use.
You see peas used in restaurants all over the city, like the vibrantly green sweet pea soup at Mercer Kitchen with delicate, buttery croutons and the pappardelle with sweet peas and mint from Po Restaurant. At home you can saute them, steam them, stir-fry them. They add sweetness to your risotto, and little pockets of texture to your boeuf bourguignon (add them when you toss in the frozen cippolini onions last minute). Pureed, they are starchy like white beans, great as an addition to dips and sauces.
Last night I came home from the gym (inner Goddess patting herself on the back), and wanted to make something very easy but substantial. Voila, le result:
Author: Ariel Kanter
Prep time: 1 min
Cook time: 7 mins
Total time: 8 mins
1 cup couscous
2 cups chicken broth
Handful frozen peas
Handful cherry tomatoes
2 tbs fresh pesto
1 tbs tomato paste
Anything else that peaks your fancy
Parmesan cheese to garnish
In one medium sized pot, boil the chicken broth. Pour in couscous, stir. Add everything else, stir. Turn the heat on low and cover for five minutes.
Uncover. If there is still liquid in the couscous, turn the heat up and stir, like you would a risotto until the liquid is absorbed. Continue until you reach a desired consistency.
Grate in Parmesan cheese and serve.
This is a great weeknight recipe because it takes just one pot and under 10 minutes. By the time the couscous is cooked, the peas will have thawed, turning perfectly sweet and crisp, the tomatoes will have softened, and you’re left with something quite flavorful.
Almost every night, no matter what I’m making, I toss in a huge handful of those frozen peas; the miniscule effort yields delicious results. Just take this as a warning: You might be empty-handed the next time you get in a fight.