Friday, June 19, 2009

Plated: Fresh Pea Puree with Garlic Scapes

My love of fresh peas has just grown a little larger. Earlier this week, my good friend Lauren and I whipped up a simple, light weeknight meal that will definitely go into the recipe file. Brainstorming what we would cook a bit earlier in the day, we both realized our fridge's were uncommonly barren (Lauren's moving next week, but I really have no excuse!). The one item I did have on hand were some great looking shell peas I'd bought at the greenmarket last weekend. And so we built our dinner around the simple pea...and I transformed those little suckers into a tasty, "lick-your-plate clean" pea puree (seriously, Lauren literally licked her plate). I also had some fresh chives and garlic scapes lying around, so I decided to saute them up and toss them into the puree. If you've never heard or cooked with garlic scapes before, you're not alone. Last night was my first experience and I'm hooked. They look like curly scallions with a subtle garlic flavor. They're tasty and thanks to their shape, are kind of fun to have around (see picture below).
We ended up pairing the puree with a garlic-lemony baked tilapia and baby red potatoes fresh from the farmers market. Here are the details:

Lemon-Garlic Tilapia with Pea Puree and Baby Potatoes

Serves 2

Tilapia --
3/4 lb fresh tilapia (2 small fillets)
1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh chives, minced
2 Tbsp garlic
scapes, minced
cayenne pepper, to taste
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400. Place tilapia in 9x9 baking dish. Halve lemons, squeeze juice over fish and include rinds in baking dish for additional flavor. Sprinkle chives, garlic scapes and cayenne pepper over top of fish. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil for 5-7 additional minutes, checking frequently so fish doesn't burn.

Pea Puree -
~ 1 lb fresh shell peas, shelled (comes to about 1 1/4 cup of peas)
1.5 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup fresh chives, minced
1/4 - 1/3 cup garlic scapes, minced
juice of 1/
2 lemon
1/4 tsp sea salt, or more to taste
1-2 Tbsp cooking water from the peas
Boil peas in a medium saucepan. Saute chives and garlic scapes in butter 2-3 minutes on medium heat. In a food processor, combine peas, chive-scape-butter mixture, lemon juice, salt and cooking water. Puree until well blended. Taste test and add additional salt.

Potatoes -
8-10 small-medium baby red potatoes
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup chives, minced
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
In a large sauce pan, boil potatoes until soft, about 15-20 minutes. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat and add potatoes, chives, salt and pepper. Saute 3-5 minutes.

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