Green peas' supercharged nutritional profile can supercharge your health! Season - Peaks in spring through summer and fall

Selection - Choose bright green, slightly swollen firm pods.

Avoid discolored pods, mealy taste, coarse texture.

Flavor complements - Mint, basil, chives, tarragon, sorrel, parsley, curry, scallions, butter

Storage - Refrigerate in a loosely sealed plastic bag for up to 5 days.

Best eaten as soon as possible after purchasing Fresh peas can also be blanched for one or two minutes and then frozen.

Preparation for cooking - Before you remove the peas from the pod, rinse them briefly under running water.

To easily shell them, snap off the top and bottom of the pod and then gently pull off the "thread" that lines the seam of most peapods

Gently open the pods to remove the seeds, which do not need to be washed since they have been encased in the pod.

Quick fixes - Boil shelled peas 3-5 minutes in salted water until tender. Dot with butter, if desired. Toss with pepper and fresh chopped mint.

Potatoes, Peas and Blue Cheese

4 servings, Prep 10 min Cook 15 min

1 pound small new potatoes, whole
½ pound shelled peas
½ cup dry wine or vermouth
2 oz blue cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped

  1. Cook potatoes in boiling salted water 15 minutes or until knife tender
  2. Add peas during last three minutes. Drain. Cut potatoes into halves.
  3. Slowly heat wine or vermouth to barely simmering. Stir in cheese until melted.
  4. Toss potatoes and peas gently with blue cheese sauce. Add herbs and walnuts.

Per serving: 210 calories, 8g protein, 27g carbohydrates, 6g fat, 11mg cholesterol, 6g fiber,210mg sodium, 12% Daily Value* Vitamin A, 76% Vitamin C, 10% Calcium, 9% Iron. *Based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Fun to Know

Legumes are plants that bear fruit in the form of pods enclosing the fleshy seeds we know as beans. Peas are one of the few members of the legume family that are sold and cooked as fresh vegetables. However, only about 5% of the peas grown are sold fresh; the rest are either frozen or canned. Frozen peas are preferable to canned peas as they retain their flavor and have lower sodium content.

There are generally three types of peas that are commonly eaten: garden or green peas, snow peas and snap peas. Garden peas have rounded pods that are usually slightly curved in shape with a smooth texture and vibrant green color. Inside of them are green rounded pea seeds that are sweet and starchy in taste. Snow peas are flatter than garden peas, and since they are not fully opaque, you can usually see the shadows of the flat peas seeds within. Snap peas, a cross between the garden and snow pea, have plump pods with a crisp, snappy texture. The pods of both snow peas and snap peas are edible, and both feature a slightly sweeter and cooler taste than the garden pea.

Nutritional Profile: Green peas are a very good source of vitamins C, K, folate and thiamin as well as manganese, and dietary fiber. They are also a good source of vitamins A, B6, niacin and riboflavin as well as phosphorus, protein, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc and potassium.

Archibald, A Faughey, E. The Produce Partner. Food Fan Guides, 2005.