Simple, fast and fresh. Low in calories and packed with the taste of summer. Perfect with poultry, seafood or tossed with greens. Although the peas take a bit of time, use the ‘pass it around’ method. Pour a lemonade or glass of wine, sit down with a good friend and in minutes you’ll be done. Kids love this one, so get them involve. This is a simply sophisticated dish.
Makes 4 – 6 servings – low calories, high in fiber, no fat
3 small shallots fine chopped
1 small fennel bulb julienne or chopped fine
11/2 cup fresh peas (about 90 pods)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
4 teaspoons champagne vinegar
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1. Shell the peas by pressing your thumb into the middle of the seam on one side. The peas will pop out easily.
2. Bring to boil about 3 cups of water. Prepare an ice bath of water and lots of ice and set aside. Blanch peas in water for 20 – 30 seconds. Drain and immediately plunge into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Cool completely, drain, set aside.
3. In the bottom of a serving dish combine the vinegars, salt, lemon juice and zest. A microplane is the fastest and easiest way to remove the zest, but if you don’t have one remove the peel with a knife. Remove the white pith and then fine cut the peel into tiny strips (julienne)
4. Remove the tops of the fennel bulb. Reserve some of the fern for garnish. Handle the fennel just as you would celery. Trim the bottom and sides. Cut in half lengthwise and remove the thick white core. Slice into thin strips or chop fine. Keep the slices and chopping small because fennel has a full flavor profile and you don’t want it to over power the peas in each bite.
5. Chop the shallots fine and add all ingredients together and toss gently. Serve immediately. If refrigerating before serving, remove at least 20 minutes before serving if possible, this will enhance the flavors.
Keeps in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days but is best and most beautiful served the day it’s made.