Look up ‘French Peas’ on da Google and you’ll find lots of recipes with lettuce an’ onion an’ bacon an’ stuff. Key in ‘Bruised Peas’ and you’ll be provided links to such articles as “Effect of Respiration on Vegetable Flavor” among others. Dry, dude.
This recipe, from Max Bugnard via Julia Child, is both French – (Julia famously studied under Max at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and Max had worked under Escoffier in London) – but without the lettuce an’ onion’ an’ bacon an’ stuff, AND it is Bruised – which means we’ll need to massage a bit of butter, salt and sugar into the little darlin’s before cooking. Tasty, dude.
I use little, tiny frozen peas for this recipe, because I can stash a bag in the freezer to grab at need, but feel free to use fresh – if you can find really good fresh peas (bet you can’t).
•3 Cups shelled green peas
(one bag of frozen, or about 3 lb. fresh in the pod)
•2 tbsp room temperature butter
•1/2 tsp sugar
•1/2 tsp salt
Put all ingredients in a 3-qt. saucepan and mix briefly. Rub them all together with your palms and fingers to coat the peas with the butter, salt and sugar (this is the bruising).
Add just enough cold water to reach the top of the peas. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil slowly for about six minutes until the peas are tender. Check often to make sure the water hasn’t boiled off before the peas are done.
If the peas are done and there’s still water in the pan, uncover and boil until it has evaporated and the peas are coated with the butter.
Set aside, covered, and toss over moderate heat to warm before serving.
You will not believe how good these are.