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Fresh Peas with Lemon & Chives

Steve Hunter

Servings: three as a side dish.

Fresh mint or chervil would be nice with these peas, too, if you don’t have chives. If you don’t have shallots, finely chop the white part of two small scallions.


  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped (to yield about 3 Tbs.)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped chives
  • 1/4 tsp. minced lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. shelled fresh peas

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 200
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 140
  • Fat (g): 15
  • Saturated Fat (g): 9
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4
  • Cholesterol (mg): 50
  • Sodium (mg): 170
  • Carbohydrates (g): 12
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Protein (g): 5


Parboil the peas:

  • To parboil the peas, you’ll need just four basic kitchen tools: a medium-large pot (like a Dutch oven or soup pot, 4-quart capacity is fine), a large work bowl, a mesh strainer, and a clean dishtowel or two. Fill the pot with 2 quarts water and 1 tablespoon coarse salt and bring it to a boil. Fill the work bowl mostly with ice and cover with cold water. Dump your shelled fresh peas into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes (small peas) to 3 minutes (older, larger peas). Begin timing as soon as the peas are in the water; don’t wait for it to return to a boil. And don’t go anywhere—use your mesh strainer to transfer the peas to the ice bath just as soon as the time’s up. Let the peas sit for a minute or two in the ice water to stop the cooking and cool down. Lift the peas (use your hands or the strainer again) out of the ice bath and let them drain well in one layer on a dishtowel (or paper towels). Store them in a shallow container (lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture), covered with a slightly damp paper towel or dishtowel. They’ll keep in the refrigerator overnight. If you plan to use them right away, make sure they’re very dry.

Make the sauce:

  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the chopped shallot and sauté until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes (Raise the heat to medium low if necessary, but don’t let the shallot brown.) Add the heavy cream, chives, lemon zest, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds, add the peas, and cook until the cream has thickened enough to start clinging to the peas (a wooden spoon will leave a wide path when scraped on the bottom of the pan) and the peas are well heated, another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if you like and serve immediately.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • DiyaKwasny | 05/15/2019

    A delicious and novel way to serve peas! I would cook the cream longer than it calls for (until it reduces by half), before adding the peas in order to get it to coat the peas without overcooking them.

  • ellen_in_charlotte | 01/21/2010

    I so wanted this to be rich and flavorful...but it was just ok. If you managed to spoon up some of the cream, it was better, but still not great. A bit too bland and the cream really doesn't thicken enough to stay on the peas.That said: I used frozen peas because it's January - but I don't think even very fresh peas would have helped. Fresh peas have to be minutes from picking to be really great.I would up all the seasonings and find a way to thicken the cream sauce - maybe a litte cream cheese? I might make it again with some changes and re-review it.

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