A speedy sauté brings out the natural sweetness and enhances the crunch of two kinds of spring peas, which are reaching their peak at most farmers’ markets this month. Anise-like fresh basil, tart lemon zest and tangy pecorino cheese are sprinkled on top for a delicious, fresh and fast side dish.
Sautéed Garden Peas with Basil and Pecorino
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 1 lb. (500 g) English peas, shelled
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 lemon
- Leaves from 4 fresh basil sprigs, torn into pieces
- About 1 oz. (30 g) chunk pecorino romano cheese
In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the sugar snap peas and English peas. Pour in 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) water and add a pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water has evaporated, about 2 minutes longer. The peas should be crisp-tender and still bright green.
Finely grate 2 tsp. zest from the lemon, then halve the lemon. Remove the pan from the heat and squeeze the juice from 1 lemon half over the peas (reserve the remaining half for another use). Add the lemon zest, basil and a pinch each of salt and pepper to the pan. Grate cheese over the top to taste and stir to mix well.
Transfer the peas to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Find more simple, nourishing recipes in our
cookbook Good for You, by Dana Jacobi.
This dish pairs well with crisp, minerally, medium-bodied whites like the 2014 Coste di Brenta Elisio, Pecorino Abruzzo from our Wine Club.