Eat shoots and leaves: Mark Hix gets creative with fresh peas, mangetouts and sugar snaps

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

English peas and their offsprings, such as mangetouts and sugar snaps, and of course pea shoots and tendrils, are great tossed into a salad. I plant a member of the pea family most years – and end up using more of the shoots and leaves than the actual vegetable itself.

Sea trout and pea salad

Serves 4 as a main course

If you can get your hands on wild sea trout it's a very fine eating fish and works a treat in a light salad with fresh peas and shoots and some shredded sugar snaps or mangetouts – whatever you can find.

400-450g sea trout fillet, skinned and boned

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2tbsp rapeseed oil
A couple of handfuls of pea shoots, washed
60-80g shelled weight of peas, cooked
8-10 pieces of mangetouts or sugar snaps, shredded
A few long lengths of chive tips to garnish

For the dressing

1tbsp cider vinegar
½tsp caster sugar
1tsp Tewkesbury or Dijon mustard
2tbsp rapeseed oil
2tbsp vegetable or corn oil

Cut the sea trout fillet into 2cm squares and season. Heat the rapeseed oil in a non-stick pan and cook the pieces of sea trout on a high heat for 2-3 minutes, turning them as they are cooking and keeping them nice and pink. Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together; season.

To serve, toss the pea shoots with the peas, sugar snaps or mangetouts in the dressing, season and arrange on plates with the pieces of sea trout; scatter over the chives.

Pea and ham fritters

Serves 4-6

I remember fish and chip shops serving pea fritters along with other old-fashioned classics like faggots, but sadly that's a thing of the past now.

You can serve these as snacks with drinks, or as a starter. You can use good-quality shop-bought ham for this, or if you have cooked a ham yourself it's a great dish to utilise the off-cuts. You can serve these as they are or with a minted yogurt dip, or mix some chopped cooked peas with mayonnaise and mint, or another herb.

150g podded weight of peas, fresh or frozen, cooked
150g cooked ham, chopped into small pieces
3 spring onions, trimmed, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable or corn oil for frying
3-4tbsp self-raising flour
About 150ml water to mix

Cut the peas by hand or by giving them a quick whizz in a food processor. Mix the peas, ham and spring onions together and season, then stir in the flour and enough water to make a thick, batter-like mix.

Preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large thick-bottomed saucepan or an electric deep-fat fryer. Drop a teaspoonful of the mix in (you can use whatever size spoon you wish, depending if it's a snack or starter) and cook for 20-30 seconds until lightly coloured; test it for seasoning. Repeat with the rest of the mixture, turning them carefully in the oil with a slotted spoon as they are cooking and draining on some kitchen paper.

Sugar snap curry

Serves 4

This makes a lovely spring or summer vegetable accompaniment, starter or part of a cold buffet. You can even serve this with rice as a vegetarian main course.

200-250g sugar snaps, trimmed
60ml of ghee, butter or corn oil
2tsp ground cumin
2tsp cumin seeds
1tsp ground turmeric
2tsp ground coriander
Seeds of 6 cardamom pods
1tsp black mustard seeds
1tsp fenugreek seeds
20 curry leaves
¼tsp ground black pepper
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2tsp finely-grated root ginger
1-2 red or green chillies, sliced
½tbsp tomato purée
600-800ml vegetable stock
2-3tbsp chopped coriander
Salt to taste

Heat the butter or ghee in a thick-bottomed pan and gently cook all of the spices on a low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring so they do not burn and the seeds start popping a little. Add the onions, garlic, ginger and chillies, cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the tomato purée and stock, season if necessary, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half.

Stir in the sugar snaps and simmer for another 7-8 minutes, or until the sauce is just coating them; you can top up with a little water if the sauce is reducing too much. Stir in the coriander and remove from the heat.

Peas, artichokes and mint

Serves 4

Last year I discovered some frozen prepared artichoke bottoms in my local Middle Eastern supermarket. I must say they are a great product and seem unaffected by the freezing process. I'm all for finding convenience foods that you can serve with no effort and no one knows the difference.

Frozen peas are one of my favourites, as well as these artichokes, and combined they make a luxurious starter or side dish, or even part of a mixture of starters.

4 frozen globe artichoke bottoms, defrosted, quartered
150g frozen peas or petit pois, defrosted
50g butter
A handful of mint leaves, torn
A handful of pea shoots (optional), washed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the artichokes in a pan with a good pinch of salt and simmer for 3-4 minutes, then add the peas and simmer for another minute; drain. Return to the pan, add the butter and mint (and pea shoots, if using), season and just reheat for a minute and serve.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager

    £50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits