Fresh Peas with Mint
- 16 pearl onions
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 lb. English peas, shelled (about 2 cups)
- 1 small head butter lettuce, leaves separated
and coarsely chopped
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint or pinch of dried mint,
crumbled (see Note)
In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat melt 2 Tbs. of the butter. Add the pearl onions and sauté until they are pale gold in spots and have softened slightly, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with about half of the sugar and mix well.
Add the peas, lettuce, parsley, mint and the remaining sugar. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Pour water into the pan to just cover the peas. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer gently until the peas are tender, 5 to 8 minutes.
Drain and place in a warmed serving bowl. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. butter, toss to melt and coat evenly, and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Note: For this dish, use spearmint rather than peppermint, as the latter is too strongly flavored. Instead of the mint, you can use 1 to 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil or additional flat-leaf parsley, or 1 tsp. each chopped fresh thyme and marjoram or summer savory.