INGREDIENTS

Buyer's guide

Select fresh peas with bright green pods that are firm and plump.

Preparation

Peas don't need fussy preparation when they're in season. Boil them briefly until just tender, add a knob of butter and season with black pepper, perhaps crushing them lightly with a fork before serving alongside grilled fish fillets or slices of boiled ham hock. Alternatively, cook up a prawn risotto, stirring in the peas, a sprinkle of chopped fresh mint and a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving.

For picnics, prepare a cold pasta salad and add peas or mangetout, a crumbly, tangy cheese such as feta, chopped mint and plenty of olive oil. Or make a Spanish-style tortilla and add fresh peas and leftover vegetables. When the weather's hot, cool down with chilled pea soup, garnished with a swirl of cream.