How To Make The Perfect French Peas – Recipe | the meal

OThe name of this dish has been translated – “young peas in French style” – instead it has a starchy sound, when in fact it should be the opposite. It is a joyous celebration of the spring harvest, described by Mrs. Acton in 1845, specifically as French. Pan-to-Plate, without a second thought, is allowed to go to the center stage again. Elizabeth David understands. Small peas, the French way “Surely a dish should be served on its own,” although Simon Hopkinson and Lindsay Briham suggest eating it with a triangle of fried bread. I also think it’s great with plain cooked fish or plain rice.


Controversial Inter War French chef and food writer Xavier Marcel Bolston insists that the pea in question should be “as small as possible”, and David echoes this claim that the dish “is only possible … available “. Hopkinson and Brahim noted in The Prawn Cocktail Years, “The curiosity is that the dish is actually better with tones rather than frozen ones, and you will be surprised to hear how many people like the taste of tons of peas.” Are “, before coming down strongly. Fresh side. Raymond Blank believes that “freshly picked peas are always the best”, but acknowledges that “frozen peas are also the best”, while Anne Villain dares to swim against the tide with her bold statement that “You don’t need pea kids, but mid-season big chicks.”

Grow up: Anne Villain breaks with tradition and uses large garden peas in her petits pois à la française.
Grow up: Anne Villain breaks with tradition and uses large peas in her garden. Small peas, the French way. Photo: Thumbnails by Felicity Clock / The Guardian

Although I make an unusual investment in two large bags of fresh peas, unless you grow things yourself (or get them directly from someone), guarantee the size of the seeds inside or It is impossible to guarantee their age. (Peas begin to turn into starch as soon as the sugar is picked up, so even the smallest portion of peas can be a source of frustration in the field of taste if they have been in transit for several days). Since jared peas are not readily available here (and are also ready-cooked, which is not ideal for our purposes), I would recommend frozen peas as the best alternative to homemade or similarly spicy fresh examples. ۔

If using frozen peas, I would recommend the villain in The Country Cooking in France to use larger peas, which are often sold as “garden peas” instead of real patties pois – they are happy. Contains fat and butter, which works well with peas. The overall dish. (I know the name of this dish is literally called Petitas Poise, but I suspect that this particular difference is probably more related to older sweet peas than young sweet peas, rather than peas). Let there be a difference between the size of the currants and their size. Raisins – and if the patties are the same as the ones you have, use them in every way instead).

Nigella Lawson writes in How to Eat that for this dish she melts frozen peas before using them, which is sensible, because the method of cooking favors the least amount of liquid, and defrosting you. Allows peas to be removed before being added to pan. If you do not have time, however, this is not a big deal.


A lettuce, tomorrow.

Immovable but, in my opinion, the essential supporting actor in this particular production is Lettish – you can make petits pois à la française Without lettuce, But it adds a completely different and delicious texture to the dish, as well as soaking up the most beautiful, battery liquid. Surprisingly, the great chef August Escofer believes that withered lettuce “may not be to everyone’s taste”, while Richard Olney claims in the French menu cookbook that “although the lettuce with peas tastes good. Increases them, but serving lettuce with it. Peas lose their rare taste “, and suggest removing it before serving.

I don’t agree with that, although I do classify the first method of lining the pan with leaves, so the peas are sealed and protected from direct heat. You can slice the rest, as do Lawson, Hopkinson and Brahim, but I enjoy the silky texture of the large leaves in the recipes that leave them out altogether. However, one woman’s silk is thinner than the other, so I leave the decision to you.

Richard Olney's Peas a la Francaise.
Leave it at that: Richard Olney removes the lettuce before serving. Small peas, the French way.

Older recipes call for green lettuce, while newer recipes seem to marry the stronger Kos or his younger siblings, the younger Mani. Again, your choice: the ribby cos family will retain some texture and crunch even after cooking, while the soft lettuce, which is my preference here, will wither like spinach.


Onions are essential, but for most of us it is almost impossible to find the small buttoned onion that is sought after in most traditional versions of the dish – most vegetable vendors have a red and brown range. Standard spring onions are too light to ripen so long, so I’ve gone for the more bulbs stuff sold as “salad onions”. If you can’t find them, use peels.

Bacon is a recent addition to the list of ingredients, and as Rowley Lee notes, it makes the dish, strictly speaking. Baked peas (A charming name if I’ve ever heard of it), but it’s the one that works best with peas, onions and butter. I skipped it, because the dish without it is absolutely delicious, but if you like the idea, add about 15 grams of diced, non-smoked thick cut striped bacon or pancake per person to two tablespoons of butter. Fry until it starts to thicken. Remove the fat, then add it to the pan with the peas.

Rowley Leigh's peas to the franchise.
Final bloom: Rawli Lee’s long cooking Small peas, the French way Finish with mint. Photo: Felicity Clock Thumbnail / The Guardian

Escoffier cooks his peas with a bouquet of garlands, as does Valan. Hopkinson and Brahim use parsley, Olney adds some thyme to the lettuce, while Lee suggests mint, such as lasagna, which is later sprinkled on it (“Basil is also wonderful: I think it always smells of summer”). Comes “). I like the combination of peas and fresh mint, but again, as you like.

Sugar is usually added, but this may not be necessary depending on the sweetness of your peas. Finally taste and decide.

Cook food

If you think the type of pea is controversial, wait until you hear how long you have to cook them. (Moderate) Horror welcomes a photo I posted online of Olney’s yellow-green, 45-minute peas, because we’re used to seeing them as vibrant green and bouncing as the day we picked them up. had gone. Still, as good as blanched patties are poisons, there’s nothing more to say about the freshness of raw peas than peas, there are more ways to make vegetables than El Dente, and not that what you eat looks good on Instagram. Is.

Nigerian Lawson Peas A La Francis.
Liquid Happiness: Others use alcohol, but Nigella Lawson loosens her version with a splash of chicken stock. Photo: Felicity Clock / The Guardian

Blanc’s recipe, in which peas are cooked for just a few minutes, is delicious, but the main ingredient stays separate instead of melting in the sauce. David was right 60 years ago when he wrote in French Provincial Coking: Separately (and often a separate pill), the French cook them in such a way that they stick to a sauce, although this sauce usually consists only of butter. “

If this makes you feel better, remember that this is a much softer form of cooking than boiling faster, in which frozen peas are usually the target. The only liquid should be from the lettuce and, because I think its acidity greatly enhances the dish, Lee’s white wine splash (Lawson suggested chicken stock, which is a good alternative, especially If you are not using bacon), as well as, of course, a large amount of butter is reduced, as instructed by Vilan, so wrap the peas in a rich, but delicately flavored sauce. Gives. Give me a big cup of it, a spoon and maybe some bread and juice, and I’m a really happy woman.

Perfect French peas

Preparation 10 minutes
to cook 35 minutes
Serves 4

8 onion saladOr small round shells
60 grams of butterAt room temperature
1 soft green lettuceSeparated into leaves
400 grams of frozen garden peas1 kg fresh young peas, peeled, defrosted and dried, or in their beans
10 or more mint leaves
75 ml white wine
1 teaspoon sugar

Cut the salad onion and if the bulbs are too big, cut them in half. Cut the green fleshy pieces into short lengths.

Perfect petit pois a la Francais step 01a.  Peel a squash, grate it and squeeze the juice.

(If using peels, peel, trim and, until they are very small, cut in half).

Perfect petit pois a la Francais step 02a.  Spread half the butter on the base of the medium saucepan, then use the outer lettuce leaves to line the pan.

Spread half the butter on the base of the medium saucepan, then use the outer lettuce leaves to line the pan.

Perfect petit pois a la Francais step 02b.  Peas, half a mint, a good pinch of salt, remaining butter, finely chop and spread between the peas.

Peas, onions, half a mint, a good pinch of salt, remaining butter, spread between chopped and peas, and add alcohol.

Perfect petit pois a la Francais step 02c.  Top with the rest of the lettuce, to surround the peas.

Top with the rest of the lettuce, to surround the peas.

Perfect petit pois a la Francais step 02d.  Cover with the remaining lettuce and finish.

Place the pan over medium heat and bring the contents to a boil.

Perfect petit pois a la Francais step 03a: Leave to cook very gently for about 30 minutes, stirring the pan occasionally, until peas are soft and buttery.

Cover, reduce heat as much as possible and cook very slowly for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peas are soft and buttery.

Drain the vegetables with a chopped spoon and seasoning in a hot serving dish – if you think you need sugar, add it to the liquid in the pan. While the vegetables are still hot, bring the liquid to a boil in a pan and leave it to bubble until it thickens a little. Pour in the pea and lettuce mix, sprinkle over the remaining mint and serve.

  • UK Readers: Click to buy these ingredients from Ocado.

  • Petits pois à la française, or braised peas and lettuce – whatever you call it, how do you feel about yellow, soft-cooked peas and how do you like to eat them? Will anyone admit that I enjoy canned varieties more than fresh, and is our obsession with barely ripe, unripe peas thanks to the marketing efforts of frozen food giants, as I suggested last week? was done?

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