As a contestant on Top Chef, I had the privilege of making culinary legend Jacques Pepin’s ideal last supper. He swooned over these peas! His happy reaction actually brought tears to my eyes. From Carla’s Comfort Foods.
I didn’t include this recipe in my first cookbook and I can’t tell you how many requests I’ve gotten for it. So here you go, folks: the peas that’ll let you leave this world happy.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 cups cooked fresh peas or thawed frozen peas
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 cup water
1 In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the shallots are just translucent, about 1 minute. Add the peas, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring, until heated through.
2 Add the tarragon, thyme, lemon zest, water, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Cook, stirring, until the peas are glazed, about 5 minutes. Garnish with tarragon leaves and serve immediately.
• One of my favorite French techniques is combining butter and water to gloss fresh vegetables. Butter makes the sauce creamy and the water keeps it from becoming too rich.
• To get my beloved lemon in here, I add zest to the glaze. Fresh juice would discolor the peas and the zest adds a nice floral note.
• When I first made this recipe, I thought, “Why waste my time thawing frozen peas?” Well, I learned the hard way. If you throw frozen peas into a hot pan, they clump and cook unevenly.