This spring pea puree sautés tender fresh peas, shallots, and garlic and then blitzes them with lemon juice, tarragon, and chicken stock. Serve it as a side dish, under fish or chicken, even thinned out as a pasta sauce.
Wondering what to do with those beautiful spring peas that you just couldn’t resist at the market? We hear you. We get pretty excited when those first spring vegetables start showing up at the market, too. Thankfully, this spring pea puree is the solution. (And if spring hasn’t quite sprung yet where you’re at, it’s just as lovely made with frozen peas.) Serve it as a side dish alongside grilled fish, spring lamb, or roast chicken. Smear it on a cracker. Set it out with crudités. Twirl it with pasta. Or trick it out in a different fashion and let us know in a comment below.–Angie Zoobkoff
What if i don’t have a blender?
Don’t write off the possibility of puree just yet. While a blender will give you a smooth puree in a matter of seconds, there are other ways. Obviously, a food processor is another option, as is a food mill. However, you’ll still get a pretty decent result with a potato masher, mortar and pestle, or pastry cutter. You’ll have to use a little more elbow grease but the effort will be worth it—albeit a little more rustic.
Spring Pea Puree
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound shelled fresh or frozen peas (about 3 cups)
- 1 small onion or 1 large shallot, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1/4 cup canned chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or tarragon
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) cold butter
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves torn if large
- In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil until hot. Add the peas, onion or shallot, and garlic and cook until slightly softened, 1 to 2 minutes for fresh peas or 4 to 5 minutes for frozen.
- Add the chicken stock and cook until the peas are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in parsley or tarragon.
- Reach for your immersion blender or dump the pea mixture into a high-powered blender, add the butter to the pea mixture, and blend until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Blend briefly to combine.
- Scoop the purée into a serving dish and top with the mint. Originally published March 26, 2018.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I made this because I happened to have frozen peas and fresh tarragon on hand. I like a recipe that calls for only a few more additional ingredients from the grocery store. Any time a recipe asks me to toss it into the blender seems a bit tedious, so I opted to use my immersion blender to minimize dishes. It worked out fine, but I should have stuck with a blender as I had few peas splatter at me—karma at play?
The tarragon gives this pea puree a much sweeter result than the parsley and at first taste, I thought it would pair well with a meaty fish like grilled halibut or scallops. Since it contains the typical flavors of a spring feast (mint, peas, tarragon) it would also go well with roasted lamb as a sweet alternative to chutney.
I first served this on top of a Carr’s Whole Wheat Cracker, which is a slightly sweet and sturdy cracker and the flavor combo was perfect—it brought out all of the flavors of the puree. I would recommend a goat cheese or blue cheese for a sharp contrast to the sweet. You could serve this as part of an appetizer or as a topping to a grilled meat. It makes over 3 cups and would last a few days in the fridge as a multipurpose condiment.
The taste of this spring pea puree was spectacular. I put it on some penne pasta with Parmesan and I loved it. I never really thought but I always add peas to my pasta and this was similar to that but a much healthier pasta sauce than alfredo!
I must say I was not sure what to make of this pea puree before making it. I absolutely love peas so I figured let’s give it a try. My one critique would be that I used frozen peas and I think those need more like 8 to 10 minutes to cook because it definitely had a rougher texture than I wanted.
Please don’t laugh but I served this pea puree tossed with hot cooked pasta, a grating of Parm, and lots of black pepper. It was absolutely everything I needed it to be—rich and silky, sweet and savory. This puree keeps well, too, so I reheated it and served it as it was intended—as a side. It was lovely with some roast chicken.
The whole thing took about 10 minutes to make, especially since I didn’t thaw the frozen sweet peas. Since the peas came straight from the freezer, I sautéed the shallot and garlic for about a minute before I threw in the peas. It probably took about 5 minutes for those peas to soften. Blending took a minute or 2 to get really silken. I don’t see why you couldn’t make the dish up to step 2 and then cover and stash it on a back burner until you’re ready to blitz.
This spring pea puree was used as a dip with a crudités platter and some pita chips at a party. A few people thought they were dipping into guacamole and were surprised to find out that it wasn’t what they were expecting. But overall, the puree received good reviews.
I used frozen peas so the timing was different from the recipe. It took about 10 minutes for the first step and 15 to 20 for the entire cooking process. I have some leftover puree and adding it to pasta or to soup would be great.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
This pea puree recipe is just about perfect. It’s economical, easy, quick, beautiful, can be made in just one pot—and most importantly, it’s delicious!
I used frozen sweet peas, a small white onion, and fresh tarragon. Everything cooked up in a small saucepan and I pureed it with an immersion blender. Start to finish, the recipe took less than 15 minutes, the flavor was bright, and the tarragon brings an intriguing licorice note. I’ll try it with the parsley next time—but I did love the tarragon version.
I served it on the bottom of the plate with a pan-seared filet of halibut on top. It would also be fabulous as a base for pan-seared scallops. I didn’t use the mint—but might consider that if I served it as a side with lamb. This one is a keeper.