Fresh shelled peas, pancetta, and farm fresh poached eggs, perfect for any time of the day.
The older I get, the less I want convenience. These hands that have mixed paints and plasters to arrange on walls or hand cut 700 pieces of glass to make a mosaic table want to work. These are the hands that yearn to grate my own cheese, make home-made pasta and shell my own peas. My hands were made for the creative arts and earthy satisfaction.
But, not just my hands. When I purchased fresh peas from the local Franklin Farmer’s Market in Franklin, Tennessee this weekend, I got to meet the hands that planted the seeds and brought the peas to market. Although we come from very different backgrounds, me…a bi-coastal city girl, they… clearly rooted in Tennessee farming, share a desire to work with our hands and find exciting ways to enjoy the fruit of the garden.
They handed me recipe cards that could have just as easily came from my kitchen.
And, I shared with them my idea for peas for breakfast, where poached eggs sit upon a bed of sweet peas sprinkled with pancetta, glistened with olive oil, kissed with lemon zest, mint, and a shaken up a bit with a touch of crushed chile pepper.
They didn’t wince, or raise an eyebrow at this unusual way to eat peas. They embraced it, and then proceeded to give me some pointers on how to shell and cook my peas. I bought two bags, which had a few unattractive brown pods, but they quickly assured me that what I would find inside would rival any peas in the brightest of pods. They were right, and I’m sure there’s a story here somewhere about judging a pea by its pod.
I plan to write more about my local market because knowing they are a few miles from home every Saturday brings me special comfort. It’s where my food inspiration for cooking and writing begins, and I encourage you to make it a point to visit your farmer’s market and try something new.
This was my first time shelling my own peas and I’m wondering why I missed out on this. Had I not started a conversation, I wouldn’t know about their freshness, how to cook them, or that I could taste them right on the spot. This doesn’t happen in the grocery store. The main ingredients of this dish can all be purchased at this market, including the dark bread from Twin Forks Farm (to be featured soon).
Vegetarian Option with Black Hawaiian Lava Salt
How does it taste?
Each bite will get sweet, savory peas and some part of the egg, all flavor induced with the good olive oil, and salt. If you add the pancetta, it will add the salty, savory satisfaction that only a fatty, salty pancetta can bring home. These bright and comforting flavors are just the thing to wake you up and start your day with high protein. But this could even be lunch or perhaps dinner. It’s quick, and yet it’s not compromised. Good food does not need to take a lot of time, money or culinary skills.
Recipe for Spring Peas with Poached Eggs (serves 2)
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 1 cups fresh peas (shelled) or frozen
- drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (this is when you use your very best tasting oil)
- 1/4 cup pancetta, diced (you can substitute with 4 pieces bacon
- few spring onion or shallot, finely diced
- lemon zest of 1/2 lemon
- sea salt, black pepper
- pinch crushed red pepper
- a few mint leaves (or basil) torn or snipped into small pieces
- Simply remove peas from their pods.
Poach eggs according to your taste. I love my silicone egg-shaped cups that I purchased at Copia on vacation last year; however, you don’t need any special equipment to poach an egg. You can put an egg in boiling water, using a large slotted spoon continuing to wrap the white part of the egg around the yolk or make a ruffled egg, which is easier.
- • Fry pancetta until crisp. When nearly done, add onion to soften.
• Shell fresh peas and blanch in boiling water 3 or 4 minutes.
• Drain peas and add to pan of pancetta and toss with crushed red pepper.
• Place eggs on peas, drizzle with olive oil.
• Add lemon zest.
• Season to taste with salt, pepper
• Add herbs at the end.
Notes: The peas with pancetta can be eaten alone as a side dish, or tossed with pasta, sliced boiled potatoes or rice.
Silicone egg cups make poaching easy.
You might also try this with a ruffled egg.
You might be interested in this article, The Ethics of Eating I read over at Culinate.