Peas are a cool-weather vegetable, making spring their prime season. English shell peas are the classic peas-in-a-pod—they must be removed from their tough pod and cooked briefly in water or steamed. Flat-pod snow peas and sugar snap peas, on the other hand, are entirely edible, pod and all. Buy peas with firm, crisp pods and no wilting or shriveling. With English and sugar snap varieties, the peas inside shouldn’t be so big that the pod looks “lumpy,” an indication that they’re overly mature and not as sweet as younger peas. It’s best to eat fresh peas the same day you buy them but if you must store them, keep in the vegetable bin and don’t wash until you’re ready to cook. Snow and sugar snap peas should be “stringed” before cooking to remove the fibrous strings found on the seams on both sides of the pod: pinch the tip or end of the pea taking care not to remove it completely from the pod then pull the string down the seams.
Snow and sugar snap peas are delicious raw or cooked in a side dish, soup, or stir-fry; add fresh shell peas (simmer them briefly in Swanson® stock or broth or a touch of water first) to pasta or risotto.
These recipes may call for frozen peas but don’t be afraid to swap them out for fresh peas in the spring when they're in season!
Peas are in season and taste like a burst of spring! Toss this good-for-you veggie into these superb entrées.