A bag of frozen peas belongs in every freezer.
You might sprain your toe (painful for at least a good month) and a bag of frozen peas make a decent ice pack that conforms to the shape of your foot. Not that I would know. A bag of frozen peas, quick to thaw, is more importantly always ready to perk up a meal. Stir it into pasta and dinner is instantly more vivid and appealing. Or you could make a quick soup that tastes like it cooked for much longer than it did. You could purée the peas with mint and olive oil to create a stunning spread for bruschetta.
Just make sure to always keep a bag in the freezer.
My new favorite way to use them is to make cheesy, browned pancakes studded with bright green peas. Spring is still technically around for a couple more weeks, and don't you forget we haven't reached our humidity high yet. Still, time already seems to have slowed down for summer as it's evident in my dwindling morning commute. Let's keep the spirit of spring going just a little longer. Serve grilled asparagus with dinner and grab ramps or rhubarb without hesitation if you see them. You won't see them again for a while.
Then, make these spring onion and pea pancakes. They're a meal for a late Saturday afternoon needing a satisfying yet light lunch.
I swapped in whole milk ricotta for low-fat cottage cheese. Wouldn't you? The batter whips up to a smooth and luxurious consistency that you'd swear is pudding. It's pretty. Ricotta makes the pancakes tender as there's quite a bit of cheese considering the small amount of flour.
The peas burst as you bite into them. The spring onions aka scallions add a great savory note to counter the slight sweetness of the peas.
We skipped the melted butter drizzle and crumbled more ricotta over the pancakes, but I don't think you can go wrong either way. Next time I'll serve them with a side salad of arugula or crispy kale. Danny thinks they'd be great on the side of slow-roasted pork or lamb. Bon Appetit suggests topping the pancakes off with smoked salmon and serving them as appetizers. You could also put an egg on it because that makes anything a meal.
And when spring truly fades away, just remember that you can serve these pancakes any old weekend. Frozen peas are good year round.
Ileana Morales is a freelance writer who cooks in a small apartment kitchen in Tampa with boyfriend Danny Valentine, an education reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. For more of their kitchen adventures, visit Ileana's blog, alittlesaffron.com. She can be contacted at [email protected]