It’s a busy time in the garden, lots to sow, transplant and weed but not a vast selection to eat. There are plenty of green things – salad leaves, herbs, baby spinach, a few bolting leeks but for the rest we are waiting.
This month’s recipe is in anticipation of the peas.
Our peas are about 15cms tall and on the up, beginning to climb their chicken wire fence. There’s a way to go but they’re coming.
There is still time to plant peas if you have the space. They enjoy our climate and providing the mice don’t eat the seeds will soon emerge and start climbing up, grasping with tiny tendrils to whatever is close by so it’s best to make a fence to keep them where you want them.
The main reason I plant pod peas is because they are so sweet. We snack on them in the garden so probably only half the harvest hits the kitchen.
The secret with peas is to eat them as soon as you pick them, before the sugars convert to starch. This is why frozen peas are so successful and indeed can be superior to pod peas, as unless they were recently picked they will have become a little starchy.
These little green orbs have a lot going for them, as they are a source of plant-based protein, officially a legume not a vegetable. Paired with eggs, a little fresh goats cheese or yoghurt to make a complete protein this makes a nutritious vegetarian option that is easy and fast to make.
I was going to make the recipe in the blender but there was a power cut so instead of buzzing the mix, I got stuck in with a potato masher and the result was chunky pea in batter – delicious – so the recipe can be made either way. If you use a blender, pulse buzz and stop before the mix is smooth.
We’re using Sunview fresh goats cheese, which comes from Kilmichael near Macroom. Goat’s cheese has a dodgy reputation but this new season fresh cheese is creamy and delicious, not in the least bit goaty.
If you can’t handle goat’s cheese use a little feta or leave it out.
We ate these with mint and yoghurt sauce and salad on the side.
• 300g peas
• 3 eggs
• 3-4 spring onions
• zest of half a lemon
• 50g crumbled fresh goats cheese
• 50g cornflour
• half tsp baking powder
• half tsp salt
• oil to fry.
Bring a pot of water to the boil, add the peas then cook for three to four minutes. Drain and refresh under the cold tap then put aside.
Crack the eggs into a bowl. Sieve the cornflour and baking powder then whisk into the eggs together with the salt.
Finely chop the spring onions then stir into the batter with the lemon zest, goat’s cheese and peas. Mash with a potato masher to crush the peas.
Heat a frying pan, pour in a little oil – enough to just cover the bottom of the pan. Spoon in three or four tablespoons of the batter allowing each fritter to spread but not join up. Turn the heat to medium and fry the fritter for two to three minutes then flip over and cook the other side. Repeat until the mix is used up.
Makes 10 fritters.
Mint Yoghurt Sauce
• 250mls Greek yoghurt
• 1 tbs finely chopped mint
• salt and cracked black pepper.
Mix the yoghurt and finely chopped mint together then season with salt and cracked black pepper.
Ready to cruise into June!
Lettercollum KItchen Project
22 Connolly Street