Spring Peas: LCB At Home: Lesson 1 : Part 1

Petite Pois à la Française : French Spring Peas :
Spring Peas with Lettuce, Chervil and Onions

It's going to take a couple of days to post the entire event which has four recipes involved; here's the first one.

My favorite bit while preparing this multi-part meal was the peas with onions side-dish. Pearl onions; thus, very French. Unfortunately fresh little pearl onions are nigh on impossible to come by in the Toronto area, couldn't even find the frozen variety; did find the dried version at $4 a pack of about 50 onion-ettes - which strikes me as pricey. Didn't have to use all of them so I'll have some left for next time.

This is the dish, completed, still on the stove.pois 090420081179

Then there was the spring peas issue. Too small - way too small. A kilo of pea pods produced a little more than a cup of shelled peas. Not enough. Supplemented them with (uggh) the frozen store sort.

Mini pois 090420081171

The key ingredients in this case are: peas, lettuce, and the onions

pois all 090420081174

Oh, and a bunch of parsley (couldn't find fresh chervil either) .

On to the what I really did...

Petite Pois à la Française : Spring Peas with Lettuce, Chervil and Onions

Serves: 4
  • half a dozen leaves from a large leaf lettuce (or one small head) (green parts only)
  • 1 kilo [2 #] spring peas (was 1 1/4 C shelled because they were tiny tiny tiny)
    • plus 2 C frozen green peas (to be avoided at any cost)
  • 20 pearl onions (dried)
  • small bunch of parsley (better would be chervil) (tied with string - to remove later)
  • 5 T butter (always we mean unsalted butter)
  • 1 ½ C water
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 ½ T sugar
  1. Chiffonade the lettuce (roll the leaves then chop crosswise in finger-wide strips)
  2. Shell the spring peas
  3. Rinse frozen peas in water (this de-ices them a little)
  4. Dunk dried pearl onions in boiling water for 3 minutes, douse in cold water - then peel them
    • This water activity is all to make then easier to peel; peeling them "dry" is a pain
  5. Butter into a large saute pan; medium heat
  6. Add lettuce, peas, more peas and the onions
  7. Wilt the lettuce; stirring gently with a wooden spoon
  8. Add parsley bunch
  9. Add water, salt, sugar (sugar is essential in this dish)
  10. Reduce heat to low - cover
    • Simmer 15 minutes (until peas are tender) - up to maybe 25 minutes
  11. Remove parsley


  1. Looks like I wrote the notes into the recipe - bad form on my part
  2. Lots of butter - it's a French dish
  3. Feel free to try to precook this about half way and then set it aside for "finishing" in the last 5 minutes - would probably work
  4. But it's not likely to reheat very well

And it was oh so very tasty.

From the book: Le Cordon Bleu: At Home

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