mind your peas

“Easy to see why” is a phrase oft-used around the Fields home, having entered our vernacular via a certain picture book now legendary to my childhood, as some picture books are wont to become. And the phrase becomes relevant again here. After preparing two a-pea-ling dishes for this week’s blog post (a fabulously fresh tabbouleh and a surprising twist on hummus), I find it “easy to see why” Madame de Maintenon and her royal friends went practically pea-crazy for this late-spring wonder vegetable.

tabbouleh with fresh peas and cumin

1 cup bulgur wheat
1 cup boiling water
1 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
1 package cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh peas (frozen works, too)
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup EVOO
grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

Place the bulgur in a large, heatproof bowl, add the boiling water, and let soak for 15 minutes. Drain the bulgur, pressing on it with a spoon to remove excess liquid. Return the bulgur to the bowl.

Add parsley, basil, mint, tomatoes, peas, and scallions. Stir to combine.

Place olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, cumin, and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season with pepper to taste.

Add the olive oil mixture to the bulgur mixture and toss to coat. Let the tabbouleh sit at room temperature until the flavors develop, about 30 minutes. Serve the tabbouleh at room temperature, preferably the day it’s made. (But don’t fret, leftover lovers; I found this dish to be just as delicious the day after.)

green pea and avocado hummus

2 cups fresh peas (frozen works, too)
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1/4 cup EVOO
1 garlic clove, grated or pressed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place peas, avocado, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice in bowl of food processor and process until smooth puree is formed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I served my pea and avocado hummus with toasted pita chips, which turned out to be exceptionally easy to make. Simply slice your pita bread in half lengthwise, coat lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Next, slice pitas into six wedges each and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

With the oven set to 400°F, bake the chips for about 12 minutes, or until toasty brown. I found these chips to be a fantastic combination of crunchy and chewy, and they made a phenomenal accomplice to the hummus.

the dinner

With my newly-married sister and brand-new brother-in-law off in Ann Arbor to nest, only the parents were at home to sample this Sprout Diaries meal. My mother made a spring salad of homegrown lettuce, carrot, yellow pepper and pea pod shells, drizzled with lemon vinaigrette and olive oil (the pea pods added a satisfying crunch and made me feel less sheepish about my mispurchase at the market; see previous post).

In addition to the salad, the tabbouleh and hummus were nicely complimented by fresh watermelon and white wine. Both pea dishes made a big hit, with the tabbouleh in particular garnering enthusiastic accolades. But Tupperware-philes be warned: the leftover hummus was not so sensational after a day in the fridge and should be eaten in its entirety on the day of preparation. I promise this won’t be too hard, though. Gather a few more foodie friends and the hummus should disappear in no time.

And as an added bonus, the entire meal was vegan!

Like always, I’d love to know if you try either recipe, and thanks for reading!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Renee Amodeo says:

    Claire – this blog is just wonderful! Beautiful writing, beautiful pictures, and a fresh perspective – looking forward to more 🙂

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