The sweetness and simplicity of a pea is lifted to a new height with the luxurious taste of shellfish. Towards the end of this month, or even sooner, you will find English peas in shops, but if you can’t wait then opt for imported ones (or you could even get away with frozen).
If you can’t get your hands on Dublin Bay prawns or langoustines, then prawns or lobster, or a mixture, make a good alternative.
A couple of handfuls of pea shoots, washed and dried
60-80g shelled weight of peas
A good knob of butter
4 rashers of thick-cut streaky bacon or pancetta, cut into rough 1/2 cm dice
For the dressing
1 tbsp good quality white wine vinegar, such as chardonnay
A few sprigs of tarragon
1/ 2tsp Dijon mustard
The juice of half a lemon
2tbsp olive oil
2tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mix all the ingredients together, preferably the night before, for the dressing and season. Bring a pan of well-salted water to the boil and cook the Dublin Bay prawns for 2 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and leave to cool.
Bring another pan of water to the boil with just enough water for the peas, add salt and pepper, a good knob of butter and a couple of teaspoons of sugar and cook the peas for 3-5 minutes until just tender. Then drain and leave to cool.
Peel the langoustines, saving the shells in the freezer for a bisque. Cook the bacon on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until crisp. To serve, toss the peas and pea shoots in the dressing, season, arrange on plates with the langoustines and bacon scattered over.Reuse content