The only peas I knew as a child were those that came from a tin (Batchelors wonderful peas!).
It wasn’t until age of twelve when I visited my English cousins that I discovered the delights of picking fresh pea pods and popping those little green gems straight in your mouth.
Now I grow peas on my allotment every year, but the excitement of picking and shelling the first peas of the year never loses its thrill.
Apart from eating them raw, like sweets, my favourite way to eat them is cooked with olive oil, mint and onions as recommended by Nigel Slater in Real Fast Food. Here is the recipe:
Peas with Olive Oil and Mint
Serves 2 as a side dish
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas
1 small onion or shallot, sliced into paper-thin rings
2 sprigs fresh mint
Pour the oil into a medium saucepan and add the peas, onion slices, and mint. Add the salt and one tablespoon of water, and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer over low heat for 6 to 7 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally. Serve hot.
You can make this with frozen peas, but I always save it for fresh peas, and it really signals seasonal summer cooking for me. Yum!