Pea Pickings

It’s June and it’s one of my favourite times of year on the plot for fresh pickings.

Yesterday I dug some Red Duke of York’s and Sharpes Express, picked some peas, broad beans and a butterhead lettuce and headed home to figure out how we would eat them. I remembered the French dish of peas and lettuce, a classic way to cook fresh ingredients, and simply so the flavours stand out; a no fuss recipe. Alongside this I sliced the new potatoes and fried them in olive oil and thyme, and then added some sliced shallots, garlic and a dried red chilli. It was all served up with a poached egg on top. Perfect !

I’ve yet to discover a variety of pea that is actually purple, the pods yes, the peas no; that said, they still taste great

Robinson’s Purple

Petits pois a la francaise

This is Sophie Grigson’s version of peas and lettuce, it serves 4


  • 30 g butter
  • 500g shelled peas
  • 1 round lettuce, shredded
  • 6 spring onions sliced
  • 4 tablespoons of chicken or vegetable stock or water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the peas, lettuce and spring onions and salt
  • Stir so that the peas are all coated with the butter, then add the stock
  • Place over a low heat, put a lid on and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice
  • Take the lid off, and if necessary, boil hard for a couple minutes until virtually all the liquid has evaporated
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve


  • If using freshly picked peas, the cooking time is greatly reduced, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • I halved the cooking liquid, and found it was plenty


  • Can add 2 to 4 tablespoons of creme fraiche once the stick liquid has boiled away, and cook for a couple of minutes
  • I cooked a combination of broad beans and peas for this dish

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