Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Le Saison Du Poi

Spring brings about one of our most favorite vegetables - the pea.Like asparagus it means that warm weather is just around the corner.It also bursts with just picked flavor. Spring peas are wonderful in a variety of ways, from the traditional to the avante garde.

The legume was the subject of the Letter From Paris section in today's New York Times Dining section. The column;s author, Elaine Sciolino was lucky enough to travel to every foodie's fantasy - Provence where she dined at the famed eatery L'Oustau de Baumaniere  . The restaurannt is mainly known for its' guests, ranging from Queen Elizabeth II to Saddam .Hussein. The famous and infamous aside the restaurant is known also for its' almost celestial tasting dishes.Right now the seasonal pea is its' star.This is peak season for the legume and there are a variety of dishes that L'Oustau's chef creates. The French love peas.In fact Charlemagne planted several plants in his garden.

The best way that Ms. Sciolino had them is probably the simplest. These were seasoned with pork belly and butter. She then returned to New York where she received lessons in how to cook them from Guy Savoy , chef at New York's famed Arc de Triomphe. For anyone who wants to cook fresh ones right now, remember that the smaller ones are the best. They have the sweetest flavor as opposed to the bigger ones. These are probably older and have a tough , mealy texture. She also learns how to cook pea pods which are usually discarded. The secret is to peel away the tough , translucent inner membrane, The best way is to have peas with butter which complements the sweet earthy taste. Some use them in soups and salads. There is even a green pea ice cream that capitalizes on its' sugary flavor.

Spring brings all sorts of greenery, including peas bursting with flavor. Add this seasonal treat to your Sunday dinners or weekday meals. They're a great way of celebrating the season!

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