Blanched Spring Peas With Saffron Crème Fraîche
With Cyprus Flake Salt
Reprinted with permission from Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes by Mark Bitterman, copyright © 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photo credit: Jennifer Martiné © 2010.
- Servings: 4.
This recipe is from Salted: A Manifesto On The World's Most Essential Mineral, With Recipes, by Mark Bitterman. In the headnote to the recipe, he writes:
"Peas are so perfect on their own, it's a wonder it ever occurred to anyone to cook them in the first place. But fortunately someone did. A trillion peas later, after endless refinements on the art of making a pea more perfect han a pea, the French Laundry created its cold pea soup, a spring rain cloud of viridian sugars skimming a truffled forest. But before Thomas Keller could make his soup, we had to grow up watching Julia Child chiding us about making the blanching water incredibly hot, and salting it, and treating the pea with the utmost love and care. It was Julia Child who rescued cooked peas from the ignominy of creamed cafeteria concoctions, restored their preciousness, and gave them back to us like so many incandescent pearls rolled from the fair hand of nature. A drop of saffron cream shot through with a taut bolt of salt cradles and charges this blanched pea with its own electricity."
Tip: Both sel gris and Cyprus flake salt can be purchased at TheMeadow.net and other specialty markets that sell artisanal salts.
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 2 teaspoons vermouth
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche
- 1 small handful of sel gris
- 1 pound hulled fresh spring peas or frozen green garden peas, thawed
- 4 two-finger pinches Cyprus flake salt
- Bring a quart of water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, crumble the saffron into the vermouth in a small bowl and set aside until the vermouth turns golden, about 5 minutes Mix in the crème fraîche.
- Add the sel gris to the boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, stir in the peas and boil for about 3 minutes, until the peas are bright breen and tender. Drain thoroughly.
- Serve the peas dolloped with the saffron crème fraîche and seasoned with a pinch of Cyprus Silver per serving.