Looking for something green – and healthy – for your holiday table? Have you considered peas?
Yes, peas. Don't scoff. I know you want to. I know I did. But this past Sunday I was at a dinner party where my friend Tina served up an outrageous pea dish.
Outrageous. Pea. Dish.
Nope. Not an oxymoron.
To be honest, mashed peas is a dish I had never before eaten, much less cooked. Frankly, the idea of mashed peas did not appeal. Actually it had never even occurred to me.
But Tina's mashed peas were a revelation.
Healthy and delicious, check. Great for those of us leading low cholesterol (lo-co) lifestyles. But more than that, this dish is festive and fun. This recipe delivers peas that are a wonderfully vibrant green. So tantalizing were these peas in both taste and appearance that I plan to serve them for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas dinner.
Mashed Peas – serves 4-5 (recipe says serves 8)
- 1 package frozen peas (16 oz.) – but see notes below
- 1 package frozen peas and pearl onions (16 oz.) – but see notes below
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
- In two separate small saucepans (or in a microwave) thaw the frozen peas, and the frozen peas and pearl onions over low heat until just warm.
- In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, puree the peas and heavy cream until smooth. Do not puree the peas and pearl onions.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, stir the pureed peas into the whole peas and pearl onions, along with the melted butter, salt, and pepper. Transfer mixture to a covered baking dish and reheat in a 350 degree oven.
Tina's Cooking Notes:
- This is not enough for eight people. To adjust, puree one package of peas and then add 1 1/2 packages of peas and most of a whole package of pearl onions. (Note: this is the adjustment my friend Tina made; you could probably make alternate adjustments but I can vouch that this adjustment was excellent.)
- If you do not have salted butter, just add a bit more salt.
- For fewer pots to clean and ease in general, thaw the peas in the microwave instead of using two saucepans.
While it's not ideal that this dish uses both heavy cream and butter, the quantities of these high fat ingredients are small. In fact, compared with other high-fat holiday side dishes, I'd argue this mashed peas recipe is quite a good lo-co holiday option.
I'm headed out to the store to buy peas, pearl onions and heavy cream so I can test this side dish out pre-Christmas Eve. I'll let you know how it turns out.