For the last two years, I've made this recipe for Easter, but cheating (well, cheating might be a harsh term, it's really using what's available, as peas aren't quite ready that early in the year in New England) by using frozen peas. Because the mint in my garden is also not producing by Easter, this recipe is designed to use an entire package of supermarket mint (to avoid waste). If you choose to double the recipe, it isn't necessary to double the olive oil and shallot. - poorgirlgourmet —poorgirlgourmet
Test Kitchen Notes
We liked that poorgirlgourmet didn't try to reinvent the wheel -- she simply improved upon this delicious spring staple by infusing the milk with mint in addition to adding fresh mint at the end of cooking. These bookends of mint give the dish a soulful fragrance. If you need to use frozen peas like we did, you'll need to alter the cooking times. Our peas and cream were ready after 2 minutes of simmering -- better to err on the side of a thin sauce than a thick one. - A&M —The Editors
4 to 6
extra virgin olive oil
medium shallot, finely chopped
peas, defrosted if using frozen
freshly ground black pepper
the leaves of 2-3 sprigs fresh mint, coarsely chopped
At least an hour before preparing the peas, place the mint in a small saucepan and pour the light cream over it. Over medium-low heat, warm the cream until it is scalded (the point when it has just starting to steam and small bubbles can be seen around the rim of the pan), 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on this process, because you don't want the cream to boil, and it doesn't take but a moment of not paying attention to go from scald to boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mint to steep in the cream for another 30 to 45 minutes. You can make the mint cream a day before if you like, just transfer the mint and cream to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, removing it from the refrigerator 20 minutes or so before cooking the peas so that the cream isn't refrigerator cold at the point when you pour it into the pan with the peas.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, then add the shallot and saute until the shallot is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
While the shallot is cooking, remove the mint from the cream and discard the cooked mint. Add the peas to the pan, then pour in the cream. Cook until the cream is reduced by half and the peas are warmed through, stirring frequently, 12 to 15 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste, remove the peas from the heat, then stir in the chopped mint, and serve them forth.