Baked Peas with Tarragon, Yogurt, and Pistachios

Baked Peas with Tarragon, Yogurt, and Pistachios Recipe


I went to the farmers' market on Saturday morning looking for something to welcome me back from a few hectic months of travel, promotions, gatherings, and general chaos. I'm not sure what I was after exactly - inspiration, familiarity, surprise, a new ingredient to explore? I was welcomed by plump and perfect ruby red cherries, vibrant green fava pods, paper sacks brimming with peas, and the smell of jasmine flowers in the air.

After an hour or so, arms filled with perfect provisions, I popped into one of the little boutiques to choose a present for my mom. That's when I spotted Eric Gower's new cookbook. My eyes lit up, my bags immediately hit the concrete floor, and I made a grab for it.

Let's talk briefly about Eric. Part of what excites me about his approach to cooking and recipe development is the way he utilizes a global palette and plenty of whole ingredients in unique ways. I suspect Eric and I have much in common in the way we think about cooking, but that being said, our "go-to" ingredients are slightly different. One example, Eric has a more intimate knowledge of the Japanese pantry than I do (he lived there for fifteen years), and it shows in recipes punctuated by yuzu, miso, and maccha. So...I love to see what he is cooking, and what he is excited about sharing. Couldn't throw down my credit card fast enough for this book.

To get a sense of where Eric takes us with The Breakaway Cook, have a look at the short-list of recipes I've marked to try from it: Maccha Poached Eggs, Butternut-Ginger Spring Rolls, Mole Tofu with Spiced Bread Crumbs, Pomegranate Tofu with Pink Lentil Crust, Habanero Fried Rice, Cauliflower "Couscous" with Basil Lemon Sauce, Baby Artichokes Braised in Yuzu, and Jasmine Biscotti with Almonds. There are plenty of vegetarian recipes in this book. Eric also includes a seafood chapter, as well as poultry & meat.

His baked pea recipe (Baked Peas with Tarragon, Yogurt, and Pistachios to be exact) immediately caught my eye. Creamy tarragon spiked yogurt pistachio sauce combined with sweet green peas. No disappointment here - it was easy, delicious, and you could use any leftover pistachio dressing in a hundred different ways (salads, sandwich spread, dip, etc). I suggest you make double the dressing.

Thank you for the fantastic book Eric! I hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I'm sure I will.

 
 
 
 

Baked Peas with Tarragon, Yogurt, and Pistachios

Eric uses frozen peas for this recipe. I had a big sack of shelled English shelling peas from the market and went with those instead. Either way, whatever you have on hand. If you can't find Greek yogurt, strain some plain yogurt through cheesecloth over a bowl for an hour to thicken it up - delicious.

1 pound frozen baby peas
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh tarragon leaves
2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 500F. Put the peas in a clay pot or a small Dutch oven and gently heat them on the stove until they thaw, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, put the tarragon, scallions, olive oil, yogurt, and 1/4 cup of the pistachios into a blender and puree. Gently mix into the peas, sprinkle the top with extra chopped pistachios (Heidi note: season with a pinch of salt, or to taste). Bake for about 15 minutes - about the time the top will begin to brown. Remove and serve in your best serving bowl.

Serves 4 or 5.

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Your Comments


Kim
May 14, 2007

Mmmm... I was looking for a nice accompaniment to the grilled salmon I'm making for dinner tonight. Thanks for the inspiration.

BTW, I envy you your farmer's market trip. Here in Colorado it's just a touch too early for market trawling. I tried on Saturday but see that it won't happen until Memorial Day. 'Til then I'll live vicariously through you.

 

Laura
May 14, 2007

Thanks for this Heidi, I just spotted some peas in the pod today! By the way green is my favourite colour.

 

Eric Gower
May 14, 2007

Wow, thanks Heidi! It makes me very happy that you like the book, and that you think we have lots of common ground, because we do! It's all very flattering, coming from you.

 

Snehal
May 14, 2007

What a welcome change to boiled peas! What a brilliant way to dress peas up! Looks and sounds so simple, have to try it :)

 

Rebecca
May 14, 2007

I want to make it now, without going shopping :-) How important would you say it is to use pistachios, specifically, versus some other nut? Cashews, for example...

 

lauren
May 14, 2007

Glad you love his stuff. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few times in japan. And my friend's house was the test kitchen for the breakaway japanese book.

He is quite creative.
fun, nice guy too

 

Eye_carl
May 14, 2007

First of all I have to say bravo on the flavor combos and the photo quality. This reminds me of a Salmon dish I ran on the Spring menu a couple of years back. I made a ragout with the blanched peas, toasted pistachios and preserved lemon, served with minted yogurt.

 

shuna fish lydon
May 14, 2007

this, as usual, looks beautiful & delicious.

but the problem is this. when i have English peas in the house I just snack on them, like candy. they never make it into a recipe, or even close to a heat source!

also I love the sweet taste of peas on their own. while I understand the traditional pairings with herbs, I personally feel that these flavors are too competitiive.

but, again, I'm a srange sort of purist...

 

Monika Maybank
May 14, 2007

The Dishes look really tastey...

Go on and Look...

It doesn't cost anything to Look...

No harm done there.

 

Nabeela
May 14, 2007

I love english peas...it was one of the few things I'd eat as a kid...and my mom would stock up on the peas as soon as winter came around...we'd have fresh peas pulao with mint raita...one of my comfort food...*sigh*

 

Brett
May 14, 2007

Eric's without a doubt a talented and creative cook. N and I very much enjoyed a special dinner he cooked last year at Samovar (in a tiny kitchen without a proper stove) to celebrate his previous book. I agree that there is a common (and delicious) thread that binds your cooking style and his. I'll have to check out his new book!

 

nyamukwatu
May 15, 2007

i like that it was so nice and tast!

 

Kate
May 15, 2007

Yes! New and good ideas for dressings are hard to come by. Very exciting.

 

Heidi
May 15, 2007

Thanks for the reminder Shuna,

I meant to link to some of the pea recipes I wrote about a couple years back (god, was it that long ago?!) Here we go: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000161.html

That post highlights the fresh peas I bought and what I did with them...

In relation to this recipe, if you are using fresh peas and don't want to overhandle them, you can just quickly blanch them and then toss with a light coating of the pistachio dressing.

Rebecca, I've done a walnut yogurt dressing in the past - also nice with wintery dishes and certain grains.

 

Cooking Chat
May 15, 2007

an interesting twist on one of my favorite veggies!

 

YOYO's FOOD
May 16, 2007

YUM~

 

sarah
May 16, 2007

Oh my goodness! I never thought that my two favorite foods could be paired together (peas and pistachios). I am so excited to make this. I am having people over the weekend for a BBQ so I am going to make this and I can't wait!!!!

 

Chris
May 16, 2007

I am with Sarah - peas and pistachios? Yum! But more than that, why haven't I ever thought of baking peas? I always steam them....not any longer! :)

 

Stephanie
May 16, 2007

I love the sound of this recipe! But, is there any reasonable subsitution for the Greek yogurt? I've never seen it here, and I'm doubting plain old Yoplait will cut it! Any suggestions?

 

Deborah Dowd
May 17, 2007

I would never have thought of peas, yogurt and pistachios but it sounds intriguing!

 

Deborah Dowd
May 17, 2007

I would never have thought of peas, yogurt and pistachios but it sounds intriguing!

 

Tana
May 17, 2007

Does this mean that you're going to change your name to "102 Cookbooks"?

: D

I've got his Breakaway Japanese Kitchen cookbook—purchased at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Great stuff.

 

Lakshmi
May 22, 2007

Heidi, The recipe sounds good. I shall try it out. It felt like a variation of a mughlai dish [the yogurt], sans the spices of course... But what caught my attention in the write up was "smell of jasmine flowers..." Its so unfair, theres no jasmine in the midwest... [Sob Sob!] Whereas back in India, this is the season we used to string flowers into garlands and wear them on the head, every single day. I am so nostalgic now..

 

Julia Afridi
May 22, 2007

I was very intrigued by this recipe that combined ingredients I never would have thought to put together. And while I didn't make the exact recipe, it inspired me to make my own version of it. Thanks for your constant culinary inspiration!

 

Courtney
May 23, 2007

I tried this last night and it was delicious! I wish I had made more dressing b/c I am sure it would be very yummy on many different things. If I were to make this recipe again I think I would use more yogurt, maybe a whole 6 oz. container rather than just the 1/4 cup called for in the recipe. Also, I used 1/4 cup chopped white onions rather than scallions (none on hand!) and it worked just fine.

 

Laura
May 25, 2007

Delicious! I agree that it needs some salt but I would also add that it needs more than 1/4 c Greek yogurt. I added another 1/4 c to the original, largely because my blender couldn't blend the original recipe. But I'm glad I added the additional yogurt because the peas were lovely and most after baking. When I read the recipe, the amount of fresh tarragon sounded overwhelming, but it's not. The flavor is marvelous. Thanks for a great recipe with intriguing flavors!

 

BundaWAH
May 25, 2007

Looks so yummmmiii. I'll try it soon. Thanks for your culinary ideas.