I have always loved fresh peas. I love their color. I love their taste. And yes, I even like to shell them.
I remember weekends in the summer spent down on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Dad’s sweet pea harvest would be ready for picking. He would pick the peas early in the morning. My maternal grandmother and my aunt and uncle would drive down from Ocean City, MD and spend the day with us at the farm. My uncle would go down to the dock with string and chicken necks to catch blue crabs while we ladies would sit in the shade talking, sharing stories, laughing and shelling peas all afternoon long.
Aside from boiling fresh peas in lightly salted water until just tender, I have been stymied by other ways to prepare peas in a creative fashion where their delicate flavor could really shine. And then, I found it. In the May 2012 issue of Martha Stewart Living was the recipe I had been yearning for: Pea Flan with Wild Mushrooms.
Last Friday, I tried it out for the first time. Oh my. Sweet pea-fection! A delectably light and silky flan enhanced by the earthiness of the mushrooms sautéed with lemon rind. For those of you out there who love peas, I strongly urge you to try this recipe.
I served the flan as a side dish to a roast chicken stuffed with lemons, fresh rosemary, chives and oregano. A little un-oaked Chardonnay. A little crusty Italian bread. Delish.