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Peas in the pod Fresh green peas cooked inside their pods is a typical Finnish summer treat.

The pods are eaten by dipping them in melted butter and sticking them in the mouth whole, pulling between the teeth, stripping off the peas and the green pulp.

fresh green field or garden peas in pods  —  1 - 2 l per person
(bunch of parsley)
melted or clarified butter

Melt some butter or prepare clarified butter. Set a small dish, like an egg cup, on every diner's plate. Just before serving the peas, fill the cups with the warm, melted butter.

Rinse the pea pods thoroughly under running water. Preferably use organically grown peas that have not been sprayed with insecticides. The pea variety used in this recipe should be the field pea (Pisum sativum arvense). Since field peas are nowadays hard to find in Finnish stores and market stalls, the sweeter garden peas (Pisum sativum sativum) are usually used instead of them.

Bring water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the salt. Use one tablespoon of salt for every one litre of water. (Add the parsley, if using it.) Pour in the whole pods and lower the heat. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes, or until the pods feel tender and are just about to open up. They must not become mushy. The cooking time varies depending on the pea variety used. Field peas may take even up to one hour to cook.

Drain the pods and pour into a warmed serving dish. Field peas may be sprinkled with a dash of sugar. Serve immediately with the melted butter. The pods are eaten whole: hold a pod by its stem, dip it in the cup of melted butter and stick in your mouth. Pull it out between your teeth, stripping off the pulp and the peas.

This is perfect fingerfood to be served at intimate gatherings between friends or at crayfish parties.

Recipe source: adapted from "Apposet eli keitetyt peltoherneet", Salonen, E. et al. (1975) Ruokavuosi - Ruokia vuodenaikojen mukaan. Helsinki: Otava/traditional Finnish recipe.


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