After fantasizing about all the fattening things I wanted to cook and drink for St. Paddy’s day, I tried on some summer clothes and decided to celebrate America’s Irish pride by eating green vegetables and looking into “River Dance” lessons.
You’ll start to see fresh peas and pea shoots at the farm stands now. Fresh peas bear little resemblance to those greyish mushy things sold in cans. There are some better quality frozen brands but fresh is best. Fresh peas have a vibrant green color and a crunch that announces the arrival of spring.
All you need to do with these is blanche them in boiling water for 45 seconds and drop into ice water bath to “shock them”. This keeps them bright green and crunchy. Now they are ready to be used in a fresh pea and pea shoot salad or tossed with a healthy whole wheat pasta dish (or Carbonara for those who can burn it off River Dancing). If you are entertaining this weekend and looking for a creative appetizer, throw some fresh peas into a bowl with some nice lump crabmeat, shallots and low fat mayo. You can spoon this mixture onto crackers, crostini, pita bread or sliced cucumber rounds and serve as finger food. This is also makes a nice tea sandwhich or hearty salad on some nice Challah or Brioche-type bread. So if you didn’t have the energy to celebrate St. Paddy’s day during the week, these recipes will certainly put some green on your table.
You can pair these recipes with some light Irish Cider or a refreshing Irish whisky and gingerale.