Easy pea & mint puree

While mushy peas are the traditional Lancashire accompaniment to fish and chips, this is a wonderful and dead simple recipe that makes for a delicious side dish to accompany many a good meal.  They are great served as a base for lamb cutlets or seared scallops.

Unless it happens to be the season for fresh peas – in which case the peas are best eaten by the simplest method possible, often directly from the pod – start with frozen petit pois.  I wouldn’t normally suggest frozen, canned or bottled commercial products, but there are a few that translate very well: canned chopped tomatoes, bottled peeled whole peppers and good quality frozen peas are three in question.

You could boil these in a little water, though a tiny bit of home-made chicken stock is perfect.  3-4 minutes should be fine, no more than that.  Add to your blender, or, as in my case, use a hand blender.  Add a good dollop of mint jelly or fresh mint leaves, finely chopped, salt, pepper and a touch of cream to add a velvety quality.

Blend for a short period, not enough to lose all the texture from the peas, then serve immediately.  You can keep them and reheat, in which case add a knob of butter, stir well and heat gently.

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