|Best known as an accompaniment to fish and chips, mushy peas have much more to offer. Here's Jenny Chandler's recipe for simple but sublime classic mushy marrowfat peas, with a solution to achieving a rich green colour without food colouring, and suggestions for mouth-watering ways to serve them.|
There’s just no better accompaniment to classic fish and chips but my passion for mushy peas doesn’t end there. Cooked marrowfat peas can be used as a base for hummus-like purées, to thicken soups and stews or as pie fillings once combined with tasty veg or meat. It's easy to add some extra pizzazz by adding different seasonings, like these Moorish Mushy Peas with Harissa.
To my mind it’s never worth cooking up less than 500g of peas. You can always freeze any leftovers in smaller portions for a quick fix at a later date.
A teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda can be added to the peas whilst soaking or cooking (to speed up the softening process), but you can still achieve that perfect creamy texture with nothing but water - unless your water is especially hard. Bicarbonate of soda can give a slightly soapy flavour (some cooks counterbalance this with sugar) and it’s also said to reduce the nutritional value of the peas, so I’d rather leave it out.
We’ve come to expect the lurid green of most ready-cooked mushy peas, often achieved with artificial food colourings. As some may turn their noses up at the less glamorous beige of the natural pea, I've also provided an optional variation on the recipe for Green Mushy Peas.
No, I’m not going suggest that you use fresh peas as so many recipes do, the whole point of mushy peas is the fabulous texture, flavour and nutritional value of the dried pea. A little veg goes a very long way when it comes to greening up your peas, so, if you’re not a spinach lover please do still give this a chance. My daughter loathes spinach and yet she lapped up the peas without an inkling that they contained her least favourite vegetable.
Makes 10 generous portions
For Green Mushy Peas (optional)
Optional steps for Green Mushy Peas
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This easy and versatile dish makes the most of seasonal fruit for a superb late summer dessert - or even a whole meal! It's especially lovely made with little yellow mirabelle plums, which have a wonderful honeydew sweetness.