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Farmers market report: English peas are in season. Here are 7 recipes

Vibrant green English peas, also known as common garden peas, can be enjoyed a variety of ways but will need to be shucked before using.

Vibrant green English peas, also known as common garden peas, can be enjoyed a variety of ways but will need to be shucked before using.

(David Karp)

What’s in season: English peas, also known as common garden peas, are prized for their uncommonly bright, sweet flavor. The vibrant green peas can be enjoyed a variety of ways but will need to be shucked before using. Thankfully, some farmers take care of this tedious task, and shucked peas can be found at select stands at various markets.

What’s on the horizon: Glossy-red Viva Patricia strawberries, a sweet, relatively new variety of the fruit, are just starting to show up at some farmers’ stands, including McGrath Family Farm.

What to cook: If you buy the peas whole, shucking can be time-consuming; one pound of pods will yield roughly one to 1 1/2 cups of peas. Plan to use the peas soon after you bring them home because their sugar rapidly converts to starch. Enjoy the peas raw, or quickly blanched to bring out the color, in salads or as a last-minute addition to pastas or rice dishes. Or cook the peas slightly longer and puree in soups or as a creamed vegetable side.

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BURRATA WITH SPECK, ENGLISH PEAS AND PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO

Total time: 35 minutes | Serves 4
Note: Adapted from the “Mozza Cookbook.”.

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup shelled fresh peas
20 sugar snap peas
10 mint leaves, very thinly sliced lengthwise
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus a wedge for grating an additional 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons finishing-quality extra virgin olive oil
16 thin slices of speck (about 2 ounces) or prosciutto
8 ounces burrata, or bufala mozzarella

1. Fill a large saucepan with water, salt the water to taste like the ocean, adding approximately 1 tablespoon of salt to each quart of water, and bring it to a boil over high heat. Fill a bowl with ice water and line a plate or small bowl with paper towels. Place a wire strainer in the sink. Add the English peas to the boiling water and cook them until they turn bright green but are still crunchy, about 30 seconds. Quickly drain the peas into the wire strainer and plunge them, still in the strainer, in the ice water to cool completely, about 1 minute. Transfer them to the paper towels to drain.

2. Pull the strings off the sugar snap peas, discard and slice the sugar snap peas one-eighth-inch thin on such an extreme bias that you are almost slicing them lengthwise. Put the peas, sugar snap peas and mint in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with the olive oil, and toss to combine the ingredients and coat the vegetables with the seasonings.

3. Drape four slices of speck in a rosette-like pattern on each of four salad plates, dropping the slices onto the plate so they stand up slightly rather than placing the slices flat against the plate. Cut the burrata into four equal segments and nestle one segment in the center of each “rosette.” Pile the dressed peas on top of the burrata, allowing a bit to fall onto the speck below, and use a microplane or other fine grater to grate a light layer of Parmigiano-Reggiano over each plate, and serve.

Each serving: 300 calories; 15 grams protein; 4 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 23 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 64 mg cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 329 mg sodium.

Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me @noellecarter

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