We'd received some peas in the bin. I had no idea how to cook peas. I didn't even know if I was supposed to shell them or not. How do you tell?
I decided I'd shell them to be safe, considered that there probably was a smarter way to shell them than the way I was doing it, wished I had a nice Southern woman in my kitchen who could instruct me, and fumbled through.
I went to the cookbook, looked up peas and found one that used rice. As I had leftover brown jasmine rice, this seemed like Fate. I didn't even bother taking a picture until after dinner because I was sure it wasn't going to be anything special.
I was wrong.
My friend Kyle had told me that fresh peas were unlike frozen peas in every way, but I didn't really believe him. I thought it was nostalgia for his dad's garden. It wasn't. I associate peas with tuna noodle casserole, and I thought I hated them both*. The only reason I ordered peas in the bin was because I'm still in my trying-new-foods-because-I'm-a-vegetarian-and-need-variety-and-perhaps-I-really-don't-hate-them-like-I-think-I-do mode. I'd never had peas crisp-ish, and certainly not cooked in a skillet. Boiled, yes. In unpleasant casseroles, yes. Sauteed, no.
I cooked the peas in (fake, somewhat healthy) butter, threw in some leftover asparagus we had grilled, and then added some more butter and leftover brown jasmine rice and heated it through. I scooped some on two plates and ground some black pepper on it.
Who would have guessed this would be so delicious? Now I'm wondering if I should be planting peas in my garden...
*I feel it must be said: Even if I were not a vegetarian, I would have no desire to eat tuna noodle casserole.