The Freshest Ways to Pass the Peas, Please — Sensational Sides

Springtime is the time to get your fresh pea fix, and we've got quite a few ways for you to put these little green gems to use.
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FN.com Off the Menu, St. Patrick's and Bacon/ CC Healthy

Photo by: Kate Mathis ©(C) 2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Kate Mathis, (C) 2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Who are we kidding? You probably aren't on the edge of your seat waiting for peas to come in season. That's because, as far as frozen fare goes, peas are the king, requiring little defrosting before you can toss them into a dish and start eating. Still, even if that lifestyle works for the rest of the year, springtime is the time to get your fresh pea fix. In the spirit of the season, we've got quite a few ways for you to put these little green gems to use. Most of these recipes call for the frozen alternative, but you can make your dishes worthy of springtime by swapping in the fresh stuff to your heart's content.

When a need for pasta salad arises, Ina Garten's  Pasta, Pesto and Peas (pictured above) is the freshest way you can make it. Toss the pasta with homemade pesto and be sure to swap in fresh peas for frozen for that extra pop.

GiadaDeLaurentiis_PeaPestoCrostini_H

GiadaDeLaurentiis_PeaPestoCrostini_H

Chef Name: Giada De Laurentiis Full Recipe Name: Pea Pesto Crostini Talent Recipe: Giada De Laurentiis’ Pea Pesto Crostini, as seen on Foodnetwork.com FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, SUMMER/APPETIZERS/PASTA Show Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network,Chef Name: Giada De Laurentiis Full Recipe Name: Pea Pesto Crostini Talent Recipe: Giada De Laurentiis’ Pea Pesto Crostini, as seen on Foodnetwork.com FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, SUMMER/APPETIZERS/PASTA Show Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Just like a vibrant green basil pesto mixed in your food processor, Giada De Laurentiis' top-rated  Pea Pesto Crostini is a colorful dish that gets its green hue from blended peas. Using market-fresh peas instead of the frozen bag will ensure a more flavorful and fresh spread for slathering on toasted bread.

Food Network's Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole with Ham and Peas

Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Taking only 30 minutes, our  Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole with Ham and Peas is a weeknight dream. With a package of potato gnocchi on your side, you can make a hearty, comforting skillet dinner that is even better when fresh peas are thrown in the mix.

YK_121112_FNM_PeasPancetta_039.tif

YK_121112_FNM_PeasPancetta_039.tif

Photo by: Yunhee Kim

Yunhee Kim

For more reasons than pure alliteration,  Peas and Pancetta simply go together. Michael Symon's recipe for Food Network Magazine calls for shelled fresh peas from the get-go, and it gets major flavor from shallots, garlic, orange zest and Italian bacon.

FoodNetwork_03_059.tif

FoodNetwork_03_059.tif

Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver

Photo by: Anna Williams

Anna Williams

Food Network Magazine's  Creamy Spring Peas with Pancetta dish is a true trifecta, tossing fresh shelled English peas, sugar snap peas and snow peas for the ultimate crunchy yet creamy green veggie side.

Get more pea recipes from our friends:

Creative Culinary:  Peas with Bacon and Crispy Leeks

Daisy at Home:  No-Cook Spring Succotash
Weelicious:  Summer Pea Salad
Virtually Homemade:  Green Pea Hummus
Homemade Delish: Peas That Please

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Marinated Peas & Peppers Salad

Elephants and the Coconut Trees:  Cauliflower and Peas Stir-Fry

Dishin & Dishes: Sesame Sugar Snap Peas
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