Reaching for the Sun
The peas are coming up in my garden. That means we can practically count down the number of days until we will see locally-grown peas in the markets and grocery store. I can't wait.
There's something about a fresh green pea that makes old and young hearts glad. At a recent farm-to-school event at Hunt Middle School, to kick-off the school garden, Senator Patrick Leahy was asked by a student, "What is your favorite vegetable?" To which he replied, with a deep chuckle, "I love peas, I eat an awful lot of peas, just ask my wife Marcelle here."
Having planted the peas in 1-inch spacings, I had to thin them to 2-inch spacings for the little seedlings to grow. That left me with a basket of pea greens for a salad. This is new for me, and I can’t wait to try them.
In the meantime, seeing these fresh young sprouts has put me in the mind for recipes with peas. We love peas in our family, too (with 2 children under 5, you can understand why), so I’m more than happy to make recipes with snow peas, sugar snap peas, and shelling peas as we anticipate our own pea harvest (which, no doubt, will be consumed raw, off the vine). If we have any extras, we will give them to the Food Shelf, which gladly takes donations of local produce.
If you're planning on growing a garden this year, check out the Produce for the People program, which has a brand-new website, to learn about donations.
How is your garden growing? What are your hopes for growing your own food this year? We hope to get more comments on this blog, so please join the conversation!
The following recipe is adapted from a cookbook called “Clean Food.” It’s a little sweet and savory, and the snow peas give it that nice crunch.
Sautéed Tempeh with Coconut Milk and Snow Peas
2 8-oz packages tempeh
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs. finely grated ginger
5 scallions, chopped
½ cup dried apricots
1 15-oz can coconut milk
2 Tbs. tamari
1 Tbs. maple syrup
1 tsp. mirin (to taste)
2 cups snow peas
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Cut tempeh into bite-size chunks and steam 8 minutes (when steamed, it puffs up and is better able to absorb flavors). Remove from heat and set aside. Trim snow peas.
Sauté garlic, ginger, and scallions in a large skillet over medium heat with olive oil, adding tempeh after 1-2 minutes. After tempeh has begun to brown, add dried apricots, coconut milk, tamari, syrup, and optional mirin and cook 5 minutes, or until bubbly and hot. Taste for seasoning. Serve with fresh cilantro, over rice.
Adapted from Clean Food