Easy Peasy

This dish really is easy peasy.

Especially because I cheated by using frozen peas, which allows you to make this simple side salad any time of year.

“Sweet Green Peas & Feta” is from the new “Kokkari: Contemporary Greek Flavors” (Chronicle Books) by Chef Erik Cosselmon and food writer Janet Fletcher, of which I recently received a review copy.

The famed San Francisco modern Greek restaurant, Kokkari, makes this dish only in spring, when fresh peas are at their sweet peak along California’s coast.

But I tried it with thawed, frozen peas with great success. It lets you skip the shelling and blanching of fresh peas, too, so that this dish comes together in a snap of the fingers.

Just mix some crumbled feta with olive oil, scallions and dill. Mix with the peas, squirt on some fresh lemon juice, and season with pepper.

That’s it.

It’s bright, creamy, and with a fresh, subtle sweetness. The dill adds a nice complex touch. You could even make it more substantial by adding some bay shrimp or lump crab meat, too.

Seriously, it doesn’t get any more easy peasy.

Sweet Green Peas & Feta

(Serves 6)

2 cups shelled English peas (about 2 pounds peas in pod) OR use frozen peas that have been thawed

1 scant cup (4 ounces) crumbled Greek feta cheese

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion, including green parts, plus more for garnish

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish

1/2 of a lemon

Freshly ground pepper

If using fresh peas, blanch peas for 30 seconds in a small saucepan of salted boiling water, just long enough to remove the raw taste. They should be still firm. Drain and spread them on a baking sheet to cool to room temperature.

Put feta in a small bowl. Add olive oil and stir to make a creamy dressing. It will not be completely smooth. Gently stir in cooled peas (or thawed frozen ones), the 2 tablespoons scallion and the 2 tablespoons dill. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice and grind some pepper over the dish. Garnish with a little more sliced scallion and chopped dill. Serve immediately.

Adapted from “Kokkari” by Erik Cosselmon and Janet Fletcher

Another Kokkari Recipe: Spiced Meatballs with Green Olives & Tomato Sauce

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