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Warm Peas & Lemon Balm

Here it is, as promised, a scrumptious recipe from Amy Pennington’s Apartment Gardening. I’ve been given permission to print the recipe in its entirety, so the voice you’ll be “hearing” in both the description and the recipe itself will be Amy’s. Her affable, approachable, accessible voice makes the book even more attractive than it already is. And so…

Warm Peas & Lemon Balm
Shelling peas are one of those vegetables that are just perfect when homegrown. Frozen peas do not compare to fresh peas that are sweet and crispy, even when cooked briefly in a water bath as called for here. It is a bit of a labor-intensive process to first blanch, then shock the peas in an ice-water bath, but it’s worth it for the crisp-tender texture this extra step produces. Peas also pair beautifully with mint. You can easily substitute mint for the lemon balm in this recipe, or use equal amounts of both herbs.

Serves 2 to 4
1 pound shelling peas
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon balm leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is boiling, shell the peas. Set up a water bath, filling a large bowl with cold water and ice. Set aside. When the peas have been hulled, drop them into the boiling water and cook until bright green and floating, 2 t0 3 minutes. Drain and immediately drop them into the ice-water bath, halting the cooking process. Give them a stir to make sure they are cool, then drain and set aside.
In a medium-skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the lemon balm and stir until the leaves make a popping sound, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peas and stir to combine. When the peas are just heated through, about 1 minute, remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

More Garden Recipes: Lemon balm is a strong herb, so it’s best to use it sparingly. For a summer sun tea, combine torn mint and lemon balm leaves, add water, and steep in the sun.

Thanks Amy, and thank you, as well, to Sasquatch Books for this recipe!!! I made mine with homemade butter and fresh mint and lemon balm from our yard. It. is. so. good.

3 Responses to Warm Peas & Lemon Balm

  • Sounds delicious – if I actually get peas growing this year (or when I find them at the market) I'll give this a go. Really, though…I should know better than to read a blog post with this appetizing a title over lunch. Oops.

  • Anonymous says:

    I recently purchased your book on canning and haven't been able to stop! I am trying water bath first and once mastered, I will be moving on to pressure canning!

    I am so thankful that you wrote this book! It makes everything seem so simple and easy and fun! Its something I have always wanted to do!

    I have made Orange & Vanilla marmalade and strawberry Jam and next this afternoon will be Grape Jelly! I cant wait to read ALL of your other books! I hope you write a second volume to the Canning book with even more recipes! I would love to know more about canning soups! That is something we buy a lot of for winter nights when I am not up to cooking ( I have three toddlers!)

    Thanks again! Have a great day!!

    Deborah Granick

  • Nancy from Mass says:

    The Best Use for Lemon Balm?!!!? As a mosquito repellant! No joke! Take the larger leaves and spread them on your skin. the bugs hate the scent and will leave you alone!
    (also great in tea and mixed with olive oil and pepper for a marinade.)