Peas are one of the first harbingers of the springtime vegetable bounty, and we look forward to them every year. There are two types of peas: ones that can be eaten with the pod (sugar snap or snow) and ones where the peas must be removed from the pod (shelling). For sugar snap or snow peas, choose a smaller pod so that it is more sweet and tender. When selecting a shelling pea, opt for a more robust pod.
Peas are best eaten extremely fresh, but will keep in the fridge in an open plastic bag for up to three days. Peas can also be frozen by trimming the ends, blanching, and placing in freezer bags.
Wash peas before preparing. For sugar snap peas, snap off one end and pull the string along the side of the pod out. Sugar snap peas are excellent raw, and make a great addition to any salad. Snow peas are most commonly used in stir fry- be sure to add at the very end of the cooking process to retain the color and nutrient content of the pea. For shelling peas, follow the same process as with sugar snap, but remove the individual peas and discard the pod.