This is a delicious recipe for peas done French style.
I love peas, but in North American vegetable recipes, we don’t do much with them except add them to a stew or soup.
Most of us eat peas plain, maybe mixed with a little butter. This vegetable side dish recipe really turns up the flavor of this less used, but very delicious vegetable.
The French mix peas with bacon and pearl onions, each of which adds delightful flavor.
Many grocery stores now carry those tiny jewel-like pearl onions, but if you can’t find them, feel free to substitute green onions or a chopped regular onion.
Peas à la Francaise
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 head lettuce, washed and shredded (reserve some whole leaves for serving)
- 12 pearl onions, peeled
- 2 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
- 1 teaspoon flour
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 1/2 cups salted water
- 1 pinch sugar
- 1 pound peas, fresh or frozen
- 3 sprigs parsley
- Heat the butter in a saucepan. Add the shredded lettuce, retaining some of the outside leaves for garnish. Add chopped bacon and cook until it browns. Add the pearl onions and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and seasoning. Add the salted water and sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the fresh peas, if using, and parsley.
- Simmer 20 - 30 minutes until peas and onions are tender. Most of the liquid should be absorbed and the consistency should be creamy. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary by adding more salt and pepper.
- Serve on lettuce leaves.
- If using frozen peas, reduce cooking time to 5 minutes, but cook the lettuce, bacon and onion for 15 minutes before adding the peas.
- One chopped onion or 4 green onions can be substituted for the pearl onions. I would tend to use a sweeter onion in this recipe, like a Spanish or Vidalia onion, rather than the plain yellow version.