Feature Veggie-Snap Peas
Snap pea‚Äôs are so versatile. Snap peas can be eaten raw, steamed, sauteed or stir fried. ¬†They are a treat when battered and fried or cooked in japanese tempura style. Snap peas combine with other veggies – peas and onion are classic. Peas with carrots, or celery, or potatoes. ¬†Peas and mushrooms are a good combo, too. Snap peas are delicious in curry, vegetable soup, pasta primavera and all kinds of salads. ¬†Snap peas pair well with meats, particularly lamb, but fish and pork are complemented, too. ¬†Use snap pea‚Äôs on your next veggie tray for great taste and visual impact.
When buying snap pea‚Äôs look for shiny pods that are crisp. ¬†Dull, limp pods indicate age. ¬†Smaller pods are more tender than very mature pods. ¬†Mature pods may have to be ‚Äústringed‚ÄĚ before cooking. Pods with 3-5 pea‚Äôs in them are ideal. Snap peas cook up very quickly, overcooking will cause them to lose their snap and the pods may come apart.
Growing pea‚Äôs is rewarding in the garden. ¬†Peas prefer cool weather and are a short term crop as most are around 60 days. ¬†They are hardy and somewhat frost tolerant. Snap peas have a wider temperature tolerance than english peas. Peas also set nitrogen in the soil so they are a great crop for rotation in the garden plan. ¬†As a companion plant peas work well with carrots, cucumber, corn, turnip, radish, beans,herbs and don‚Äôt like the onion and garlic family. ¬†Check your local extension service for tip‚Äôs on selecting variety, planting and harvesting tips.
As to variety, there is only one true open pollinated or heirloom variety and that is the Amish Snap. ¬†All the others are hybrids – here are some that are available listed by days to maturity
- Sugar Ann – 52 days
- Sugar Bon – 56 days
- Amish Snap, 60 days (tall climber & heirloom)
- Cascadia, 60 days PMR*
- Sugar Daddy 60 days
- Super Sugar Snap, 62 days PMR*, (tall climber)
- Sugar Snap, 62 days, tall climber
- Sugar Lace II, 68 days, PMR *
*PMR indicates some degree of resistance to powdered mildew.
The French call snap peas and snow peas ‚ÄúMangetout‚ÄĚ meaning ‚Äúeat all‚ÄĚ
Peas are a vining plant and grow better with vertical support.
Snap peas can be frozen but not canned (canning destroys the pod structure).