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In the Kitchen: Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar Snap PeaA cross between snow and English peas, sugar snap peas are one of my favorite vegetables. They are crisp and sweet and the whole thing, pod and all, is edible.

Sugar snaps are one of the easiest vegetables to prepare. A few minutes in the saute pan or steamer is all it takes. You can even eat them raw!

When you purchase the peas look for those that are a nice bright green color with smooth skin.

To prepare them for eating, you sometimes have to remove the "strings". It is an easy process that I actually enjoy because it reminds me of sitting on my grandmother’s porch snapping green beans before cooking them for Sunday supper.

Here’s how you do it. Pinch off the very tip of the pea, getting a good hold on the string and pull the string down the side of the pod toward the other end. Now repeat the process with from the other end. That’s all there is to it. I’ve found that not all the peas have strings and I can often get by with just nipping the ends off with a knife, but that is not as much fun.

Sugar snaps are best eaten the day of purchase but they will stay fresh for about 3 days in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. You can also freeze them. Before you put them in the freezer, string and wash the peas and then blanche them for about 1 minute. Place them in freezer bags and they should last for about 1 year.

When eating them fresh, I like to steam the pods for about 3 minutes and then season them with a little butter, salt and pepper.