A delicious combination of peas, onions and lettuce which are gently poached in a buttery sauce with crème fraiche and vegetable stock; this classic French recipe is a wonderful way to serve tender little peas, petits pois. This recipe makes a delightful accompaniment to any type of main meal, and adds a real splash of colour. I have stated fresh OR frozen peas in the recipe - frozen peas can be used to great effect out of season. In the absence of small silverskin onions, spring onions (green onions) can be used, making this a very versatile recipe to serve throughout the year. Cut back on the butter if you are on a low fat diet - the taste will be less rich, but still as delicious!
- 2 ounces butter
- 16 small white pearl onions (green onions) or 4 spring onions, chopped (green onions)
- 1 small iceberg lettuce, thickly sliced
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- 1⁄4 pint vegetable stock
- 1 lb fresh peas, weight after being podded or 1 lb frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 2 -4 stalks fresh mint
- Gently heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the onions and lettuce. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the onions and lettuce soft but not coloured. If the pan gets too hot just add a little vegetable stock.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and add the caster sugar, bring to the boil and continue to cook on a fast boil for a further 3 minutes. Taste and season with a salt and black pepper.
- Add the fresh or frozen peas to the stock with the onions and lettuce. Cook over a low to medium heat for 10 minutes for the fresh peas or 5 minutes for the frozen peas - or until they are cooked through, but NOT mushy or too soft; they should still retain their vibrant green colour and have a "bite" to them.
- Just before the end of the cooking time - add the creme fraiche and gently mix; allow to heat through for about 1 to 2 minutes. Check the seasoning once more and adjust to taste.
- Serve immediately with the sprigs of fresh mint on top.