Thursday, July 12, 2012

Let The Pea-A-Thon Begin

 Fig.1.A bushel of fresh peas. It's a good thing.

Things come to life when the markets begin to sell berries, fruits and vegetables and I ain't talking about the food. At the risk of sounding overly sentimental, what comes alive is something in me that's been dead all winter: the colors, sights, sounds and flavours spark that culinay flame, and nothing awakens an appetite like fresh peas.

Peas are nothing short of a miracle.  How fauna has evolved to the point where little edible peas are protected by a pod calls into question the existence of a higher power.  For everyone out there who has only ever seen peas either frozen in a bag, or in a can with a Green Giant on the packaging, you owe it to yourself to get out to a farmer's market and gaze upon the splendor that is a fresh pea.
I bought a large bushel from the Birri Brothers with the intention of snacking on and cooking with peas all week, I'll be buying another couple of bushels which I'll be freezing.

Fig.2. A large bowl of shucked fresh peas, a perfect raw snack food.

Peas are one of those versatile ingredients that can be added to almost anything. This recipe is the first of a four part 'pea-a-thon'.  It's a simple way to use peas and an example that peas can add a different flavour to any dish.

Sea Snail and Pea Ceviche
I buy my sea snails (they're called borgot in French) at Atkins & Freres in the Jean Talon Market. Their 'borgot' come two ways: bottled in Mason Jars in a brine vinigar solution, and a variety just soaking in brine.  These sea snails are cooked so it's technically not a ceviche, but feel free to use fresh raw scallops or raw sole if you can't find sea snails. Like all ceviches, the viniger will 'cook' the seafood.

Fig.3. Sea snails from Quebec, or borgots in French


8 to 10 Sea snails, sliced
1/3 cup fresh raw peas
1 small shallot, finely diced
red wine viniger


Put all of the ingredients in a dish, mix and serve.

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