Today, after a few days away from the homestead, I picked a bounty of English peas. They were mighty tasty, even though all I did was a 1950s simmer in salted water with garlic and herbs.The only problem I see with a bounty of English peas is the apparent waste of the pods that are left after you shell. After reading that Darina Allen makes the ordinarily inedible pods into a pureed soup, I decided to use mine for a frugal pea-pod pesto for scallops.
The process is too simple to write it as a recipe. I had two or more cups of fresh English pea pods, peas removed. I started by sauteing crushed garlic in a little butter and olive oil. Then I added a little water to keep the garlic from burning plus the pods and the juice of half a fresh lemon and let everything steam. Next I pureed them. Then I strained them and added a little potato flour (about 2 teaspoons), a little milk (a splash), and about 1/4 ounce parmesan cheese and brought the mixture to a simmer to thicken it. I spooned it over scallops that I sauteed in butter and olive oil with sherry to deglaze the pan. I had visions of a bright green sauce, but that’s not really what I got. It was still tasty, and I’ll bet your pea haters will love it if you don’t confess the sauce’s origins. Here the scallops and pea-pod pesto are pictured with a baked potato, a pile of peas, and a salad of red romaine lettuce with diced figs, olives, and toasted slivered almonds.