[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] I[/dropcap] hate peas.
Actually, I should rephrase that. I used to hate peas. Ever since my mother forced me to eat them, I’ve had a few pea ‘issues’.
I’ve always known my pea phobia was totally irrational. And I often wished I loved peas like my Irishman does.
I’d gotten to the stage where I didn’t ‘freak out’ whenever they were served. And I thought this was as good as things were going to get.
But recently I came across a recipe for Mashy Peas which rocked my world.
And turned me into a pea fan.
Never. Say. Never…
3 Steps to Learning to Love Any Veg
1. Find the right way to prepare them.
I’m convinced that 90% of our food dislikes come from never having the particular ingredient prepared in a way that best suits it (and us). So if you don’t like boiled peas, maybe my Irresistible Mushy Peas (below) will do the trick like it did for me.
This isn’t fool proof. I keep ordering tripe in fancy restaurants where you’d think they’d make it taste amazing. Still yet to find tripe I enjoy… but I’m working on it (at a very slow pace).
2. Keep trying.
I’ve read it can take 8-10 exposures to new flavours before we ‘acquire’ the taste. So if something doesn’t work for you, just try again in a few weeks or months. And be prepared to try again. And again.
3. Be kind.
There are no prizes for loving all vegetables (as far as I know). So there’s no need to beat yourself (or any stubborn toddlers in your care) up if you can’t bring yourself (or them) to love [insert vegetable nemesis here].
As I’m only too aware, forcing yourself (or others) to eat vegetables you don’t enjoy tends to cause more harm than good.
Irresistible Mushy Peas
The first time I made these peas it was more something that I thought my Irishman would enjoy. But he wasn’t alone! I couldn’t get enough of this verdant green mash. So good.
Inspired by Sydney based chef, Colin Fassnidge from his brilliant book Four Kitchens.
enough for 2 as a side
takes: 20 minutes
1 small onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 bag baby spinach
250g (9oz) frozen peas, defrosted
1/2 teaspoon stock powder (optional)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1. Pop onion and butter in a medium saucepan and cook, covered on a medium heat until the onion is soft but not browned. It will take about 10 minutes and best to stir a few times.
2. When the onion is soft, add the baby spinach and peas and cook, stirring for the few minutes it takes for the spinach to just wilt and the peas to warm through.
3. Remove from the heat and puree to a rough mash using a stick blender (or transfer to your food processor).
4. Add stock powder (if using) and vinegar. Stir well. Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper.
dairy-free / vegan – replace butter with olive oil.
less ingredients – skip the spinach and add extra peas.
no vinegar – use a splash of lemon juice instead.
less butter – by all means use less but I find butter makes most veg so much more tasty. Which means you’ll be more likely to eat more veg… surely more healthy than skimping on the butter!
fresh peas – by all means use freshly podded peas but they’re much more work and unless you’re growing your own, unlikely to taste better than frozen.