22/03/2013 22:22

Pass the peas please!

Heirloom suggestion:

Thomas Laxton (65 days)

Introduced in 1898 by Thomas Laxton

Any pea that was introduced over 100 years ago and is still widely grown should tell you volumes.  Reliable, consistant, and sweet are just some of the words used to describe this pea.

Tasty bright green peas, excellent quality, and high in sugar content.  Pods grow to about 3-4 1/2 inches containing six to eight peas. 

Vigorous 3' foot vines are perfect for fences or arbors.  A performer in cool coastal conditions and it is wilt resistant.

1822-1920 Bricks High Grade Seeds says about Thomas Laxton Pea...
"This reliable pea is similar in type to Gradus, but has darker foliage and square-ended pods. Although a wrinkled sort of excellent quality, it may be planted about as early as smooth varieties."

Source Sustainable seed company

How to grow peas

Peas are one of the few vegetables that are as good frozen as fresh, but you still can't beat peas harvested fresh from your garden. When a pea pod is picked, the sugars in the peas start converting to starches straight away, and the longer they are off the plant, the more taste is lost. I remember as a kid sitting with a colander on my knee shelling freshly picked peas from grandma's garden. Fresh peas for our tea was a nice treat.

Peas are delicious, eat them fresh out of their shell or lightly steamed for 4 -5mins and serve with a little butter and chopped mint. Throw handfuls of peas into your favourite pasta, couscous, or risotto recipe during the last minute or two of cooking. The bright green colour and flavour brightens any dish.


Makes a great accompaniment to spicy dishes and fish.
Boil up 140g fresh peas with 350ml vegetable stock. Add a crushed garlic clove to the mix and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the stock from the cooked peas, add a tablespoon of cream to the peas, a lttle salt & pepper and 150ml of the drained stock, blend to a puree.


These are delicious with their golden crispy edges, great tucked inside warmed pitta bread, or try them with a green or tomato salad, also great for just nibbling in ones hand :)

200g fresh shelled peas
4 eggs
75g freshly grated parmesan
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Olive oil
Sea salt & black pepper
1/2 tsp caster sugar

Place two tsp of olive oil into a saucepan with 3 tbsp of water, 1/2 tsp of salt and the sugar .Bring to a simmer, then add the peas. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring the peas around occasionally, until just tender, then drain. Whisk the eggs in a bowl with lemon juice and seasoning, then fold in the parmesan, peas & parsley.

Heat a large non- stick frying pan over a high heat, and add 1 tbsp oil, drop tablespoons of the mixture into the pan spreading them out 10cm in diameter. Cook for 1 minute each side, until golden. You will need to cook in batches, draining them on kitchen paper as you go, and adding more oil to your pan as necessary.

Deliciously sweet and perfect paired with lamb.
Serves 6

250g fresh peas ( can use frozen)
1-2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Mix together vinegar and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the peas to a pan of boiling, salted water and cook for about 3-4 mins. Drain well and return to pan. Add the vinegar mixture and the mint, stir until combined. Mash the peas slightly with a fork, just enough to crush some of them. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with mint leaves to serve.

PEA SOUP (Click for recipe)~ Great with crusty bread.


I always eat my peas with honey;
I've done it all my life.
They do taste kind of funny
but It keeps them on my knife.