This is one of Kiki’s favorite dishes. My mom loved petits pois and this dish in particular. I remember her introducing me to this green bowl of goodness. I cherish those memories of her and our shared food experiences more and more each passing day. You would think memories fade and details like this go into well orchestrated hiding… Until the moment where I stand in the kitchen, look at my mise en place,… I’m ready to start cooking and it hits me. Kiki.
Petits Pois à la Française is a (French of course) classical dish. “Petit” means small and “pois" is for dots. This easy and quick sweet garden peas with onions and butter recipe makes a perfect side to grilled meats, fish or can be one big bowl of comfort food. It is often used as an example about recipes calling for cooked lettuce. Don’t let that detail turn you off. The lettuce almost melts; the flavor combination is smooth and buttery. The small green “dots” are simply delicious.
You can replace the chicken stock by a vegetable one for a vegetarian recipe option.
The kids loved it. I told them it was “Kiki’s favorite green pea recipe”. They never got the chance to meet her in person but they surely know her through our family stories and my food.
Petits Pois à la Française / Peas with Onions and Lettuce
Recipe credits: Rafaella Sargi
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup pearl onions (thawed if using frozen)
3 cups shelled garden peas*
5 oz (140 g) tender romaine lettuce hearts, finely shopped
leaves of 3 sprigs of flat Italian parsley, whole (a small handful)
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
¾ cup homemade chicken stock (or low-sodium if using store bought chicken stock)**
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
Scale and prep all the ingredients.
You will need one large frying pan with a lid and a small bowl.
In a large frying pan, over medium high heat melt one tablespoon of butter then add the pearl onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the onion soften a little bit. Lower the heat to medium and add the peas, chopped lettuce, parsley, sugar and chicken stock. Mix well and let it cook covered for 20 minutes. (you can mix from time to time of course!)
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the flour with one tablespoon of unsalted butter at room temperature. It should become like a paste. Set aside.
Uncover the pan, and add the flour butter mixture in two times, mixing after each addition. This will help the sauce to thicken a little bit. Taste for the salt (because of the chicken stock) before correcting the seasoning with sea salt and black pepper.
*you can use frozen baby peas when making this dish off season
** vegetarian option: you can replace by vegetable stock
recipe adapted from the food of France. A journey for food lovers