Minted peas are a quick and easy side dish that's loved in Ireland. Mint is a perfect compliment for fresh garden peas. The subtle mint flavor doesn’t overpower the peas, but adds a delicious layer of flavor to these green veggie staples.
Peas frequently feature on Irish dinner menus. Fresh peas are especially delicious during the summer months.
Table of Contents
- Picking Peas - Part Of My Irish Childhood
- Peas Served As A Side Dish
- Fresh Peas Are Best
- Ingredients for Minted Peas
- Directions for Mint Peas
- Prinatable Recipe Card and Video for Peas and Mint
- Storing Cooked Peas
- More Irish Style Side Dishes
Picking Peas - Part Of My Irish Childhood
Fresh garden peas, shelled from the pod, have a sweet and ever so delicate flavor. If you've ever taken the trouble and time to shell your own peas, then you’ll know the effort is well worth it.
When I was growing up in Ireland my mother grew fresh peas in our back garden in Dublin. We even grew our own potatoes in the vegetable patch.
Shelling the peas was a task for little hands, so my sister and I often picked the pods for dinner. Then we spent some happy time listening to the radio and removing the peas from their pods. Such happy memories.
Peas Served As A Side Dish
Are you looking for an excellent pea recipe to help add some extra greens and healthy veggies to your diet?
If you don’t like boring side dishes, then this minted pea recipe is for you.
It’s perfect if you’re looking for more ways to incorporate peas into your meals.
You may think that a pea is a pea. Plain and boring all the way. This recipe puts that theory to rest.
A few extra ingredients and tender mint leaves create this ridiculously good Irish side dish. These peas have become a favorite side dish in my Irish home.
Fresh Peas Are Best
How do you like your peas? Only in salads? Only in stews? Or maybe even not at all?
How do you cook peas? Or do you even consider them as a reliable veggie side dish?
Do you simply hate these little roly poly balls of green that go sliding all over your plate?
Well, if like me, you love peas, then this recipe with added mint is perfect for you.
Fresh peas are highly recommended for this recipe. However, frozen will work just fine if you cannot find the fresh variety in your local grocery store. Trader Joe’s is my go to store for fresh English garden peas.
Today’s recipe for fresh mint and peas is a delicious side dish that's especially tasty served with lamb chops or fish. If you’re looking for a unique and impressive pea side dish, then this is the recipe for you.
It’s a lovely way to take peas to the next level. They’re so tasty you can even serve them for a formal dinner menu.
Let’s learn how to make minted peas, Irish or English style.
Ingredients for Minted Peas
Here's a list of the ingredients you'll need. There's a printable recipe at the bottom of this post where you'll find exact quantities.
- garden peas
- sprig of fresh mint
- chopped fresh mint to garnish.
You can use fresh spearmint or pepper mint leaves for this recipe. I prefer the taste of peppermint, but most grocery stores in America tend to sell spearmint leaves.
I highly recommend using fresh mint leaves rather than dried mint for this recipe. The dish tastes far more refreshing with fresh mint for this tasty side dish.
Some people add chopped green onions (known as scallions or spring onions in Ireland) to this dish, but I find the onion flavor overwhelms the mint. I like the mint to be the star of the show.
Another addition to these green peas is sometimes chopped shallots, but again I prefer just plain old peas with mint.
I don't add freshly groung black pepper to the top of my cooked peas, but feel free to season them just the way you like.
Lemon zest is another option for a tasty garnish.
Directions for Mint Peas
Add the salt to a saucepan of water and bring it to a boil.
Give the peas a quick stir to distribute the mint leaves arount the pot.
Add the peas, sugar and mint sprig.
Bring back to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until the peas are just tender.
Low heat is important. You don't want the peas to be hopping in the pot as they cook. If they bash off one another they get bruised and don't look as appealing when served.
Drain the peas in a colander or strainer. Return them to the saucepan and toss them with butter.
Transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with chopped mint.
Do I need to use fresh or frozen peas?
While this recipe uses fresh garden peas, you can use frozen peas.
There’s no problem retrieving that bag of frozen peas you used to ice your knee and turning them into a minty side dish.
But I will add, that fresh peas are always tastier.
How long do frozen peas need to cook for?
If you choose to use frozen peas the cooking time remains the same - just three to four minutes for perfect peas.
Hold the salt since frozen peas get a little tough if boiled in salty water.
For this recipe we return the peas to the pan for a knob of butter. Don’t worry if the directions on your frozen pea package call for a longer cooking time. They’ll continue to cook in the hot pan after draining.
How long do fresh peas take to cook?
Peas cook very quickly. If you overcook them their outer skins shrivel slightly and they don’t look as appetizing on your plate.
Cook them in water that has already boiled, rather than adding them to a pot of cold water and bringing it to a boil. Only simmer them for about 4 minutes.
Can you eat peas raw?
The answer to this question is a resounding YES.
If, like me, you’ve picked peas in the pod from your garden, then you’ve popped a few into your mouth as you removed them from their pods.
Freshly podded peas are sooo sweet and tender. They're simply delicious - nothing quite like that fresh summer taste. Oh such good memories of a Dublin childhood!
The problem is, it’s hard to stop, once you pop that first raw pea into your mouth. Pick some extra pods to make up for the ones you’ll eat along the way as you work to remove the peas.
How many fresh pea pods are required?
If you plan to shell your own peas, then you need to adjust the quantity of peas you buy.
The general rule is that you need to triple the weight of the peas required for your recipe, since the discarded pea pods will not be used. For this recipe you will need 3 pounds of peas in their pods.
Shelling peas is a little labor intensive. It’s not a difficult job, just time consuming. It’s worth the effort, because the fresh peas are extra tender and delicious.
All you have to do is remove the stem end of the pod. Then you simply peel the longy stringy fiber along the seam, which should help release the pod.
Pry the pod open with your thumbs. Next run your finger or thumb under and along the row of peas found inside the pod. Don’t forget to collect them in a bowl.
I discard the pods of English garden peas. They're not easy to digest and cannot be eaten like thee outer pod of sugar snap peas.
What Are Mushed Minted Peas?
To make mushed minted peas, cook the peas according to this recipe. Then mash them ever so slightly. The back of a wooden spoon works great for this task or use a potato masher gently.
If you don’t fancy chasing your peas around your plate, then take this step and mash them. Mushy minted peas stay put on your plate, but retain all of the lovely flavors of mint and peas.
What to Serve with Minted Peas?
In Ireland, minted peas are often served with lamb. Whether it’s roast leg of lamb or lamb chops, these peas are a perfect pairing.
I’ve also served them with roast beef, roast chicken or a roast stuffed pork steak or tenderloin.
Pork chops are lovely with some peas, and they really compliment cod and parsley sauce.
If you have any leftovers, toss them into a salad.
If you make mushy minted peas, then any leftovers are a delicious topping for toast or bruschetta.
Prinatable Recipe Card and Video for Peas and Mint
Here's a short video outlining the steps for making this side dish.
Here's the printable recipe if you would like to add this side dish to your kitchen recipe collection.
You can choose to print it with or without step-by-step photographic instructions.
- 1 pound fresh garden peas
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 sprig fresh mint
- 1 ounce butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint chopped for garnish
- Add salt to a saucepan of water and bring it to a boil. Add the peas, sugar and mint sprig. Bring back to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until the peas are just tender
- Drain the peas. Return them to the saucepan and toss them with butter.
- Transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with chopped mint.
Nutrition Information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.
Storing Cooked Peas
If you find you have some peas leftover after your meal, you can store them in the fridge.
However, you don't keep them in a perforated container that can breathe, as you do for fresh peas. Insead, you need to keep them in an airtight container to lock out air and extra moisture. They should last for up to 5 days in the fridge.
I recommend cooking these peas fresh as much as possible, rather than freezing them. I think we all keep a bag of uncooked frozen peas in our freezers. Peas are a perfect addition to so many pasta meals, and are a great side for most meals.
However, if you wish to minimize food waste and won't be able to eat your leftovers within 5 days, then you can freeze them. Spread them out on a baking tray and place it in the freezer for about an hour.
Once they have frozen transfer them to a freezer bag and eliminate the air before sealing it. Return them to the freezer and they will keep for at least 6 months.
These frozen peas are a great addition to soups and stews.
More Irish Style Side Dishes
Here are some other side dishes you might enjoy if you like green pea recipes...
I hope you enjoy this Irish style side dish with a taste of summer.
Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade