I’m about to offer you one of the simplest – and best – of all my family recipes. It’s peas. Fried peas.
This recipe is so simple, and so second nature to me, I’ve been consistently forgetting to include it on the blog. But this spring, with fresh peas around the corner, I stuck a sticky note on the fridge to make sure I remembered to write this recipe down.
Now there’s two ways you can end this recipe: by making the peas juicy and moist (which most Nonna’s prefer) or by crisping up the peas just slightly for some texture (which is what my sister and I always preferred – though my mom complained we were burning them!). How you want to end it is up to you, but they will both taste great. Fresh peas or frozen will work just fine.
Fried peas were a go-to recipe for my sister and I growing up. Other than my sister’s tried and true pasta she always – ALWAYS – made when she was looking after me. We paired the peas with chicken cutlets or chicken fingers, or steaks. This is actually the only way I eat peas, other than raw, straight out of the pod which is my absolute favourite spring treat. I’ve never boiled them or steamed them, that seems rather boring. Or mashed them, what’s up with mushy peas?
At the same time, I’m aware some people might think – why fry peas? I’ll tell you why: flavour. Layered Italian flavours. Try them just once, and you’ll need to have them again. To this day, if fried peas are served at any family gathering, I always take the leftovers.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 garlic cloves, minced or 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 cup water or chicken stock (1/2 cup if you’d like the peas a little wetter)
Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Meanwhile chop your onions and mince the garlic. When the oil is heated through, toss the onions into the frying pan and cook them for two to three minutes until then soften.
Add in the peas, fresh or frozen, and sprinkle with the salt, oregano, basil and garlic. Toss to combine. Add in the water and/or chicken stock and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the peas to cook for 10 to 15 minutes until soften and most of the water as been absorbed.
If you like your peas moist, then these are ready to be served up. Or if you want a little more texture and crispiness, turn the heat back up to medium-high for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, to evaporate the remaining liquid and begin to slightly brown or crisp the pea edges.
Serve up hot as a side dish to any main and prepared to be just a bit addicted. There is a lot of flavoured packed into these peas. And they are also great warmed up the next day.