Peas à la Française

35 Comments

The French really know how to do vegetables. So do the Chinese, for that matter, but today I’m making peas inspired by a French recipe I’ve made over the years.

The recipe is essentially braised peas, but lettuce is included. I wish I knew the origin of using lettuce because it does seem a little odd, when lettuce is so ubiquitously used for fresh green salads. But in a braise? It works well too! I also used pearl onions for a prettier presentation. It takes a lot for me to use pearl onions, because I despise peeling them. But this pea dish was for a special occasion.

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Peas à la Française
This recipe serves 4

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
About 10-12 pearl onions, peeled
1 head of butter lettuce, leaves cleaned and separated
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1 – ounce package of frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup chicken broth or some white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
Chopped fresh parsley
Diced Prosciutto (optional)

Begin by sautéing the pear onions in the butter over medium heat. I let the butter brown first, then turned down the heat slightly. They went from looking like this:
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To looking like this in about 5 minutes times.
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Meanwhile, layer the lettuce leaves on top of each other, then roll them up like a cigar. Then using a knife cut cross-wise to make a chiffonade of the lettuce.

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When the onions are browned like in the photo, add the lettuce and sauté it for just a minute, along with the onions.
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Then add the peas and give everything a good stir. Pour in the chicken broth or whatever liquid you choose to use, add the salt, bring the liquid to a light boil, then cover the pan with a lid.
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Let the peas cook for about 5-6 minutes, then remove the lid and cook off any excess liquid. Add the parsley and stir in.
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If you want the peas more seasoned, a 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme would go lovely, as well as tarragon, if you’re a fan. But I left them alone. Except when I served the hot pea and lettuce braise, I sprinkled the vegetables with some diced Prosciutto. It was a perfect combination!
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As you can see, I made these peas to serve alongside my beef Wellington for a special occasion dinner for two. It was perfect, if I may say so myself!

welly

35 thoughts on “Peas à la Française

  1. What a wonderful way to make peas. It looks simple to put together, but very elegant. I saw that you noted frozen peas would work well, but do you think frozen pearl onions could be substituted? I can’t always find fresh in my area. Lovely recipe – thank you!

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  2. Interesting I just saw this! I love to braise peas and just bought peas and pancetta at the market 2 days ago. I’m going to go back and get the pearl onions and butter leaf lettuce and try your recipe! Sounds wonderful.

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