I love peas & carrots with my dinner.
Most people don’t. It brings back memories of that mushy vegetable dish slopped up next to the shoe-leather piece of beef and starchy mashed potatoes served up at the cafeteria, just before the grumpy server splashes a ladle full of brown gravy on top of everything. You remember brown gravy. It has no taste. It’s just brown. And salty. And… brown. But you can stir it up to make a peas-and-carrot-and-mashed-potato-and-gravy soup.
I think people have secret cravings for those horrible things they suffered through as a kid. Peas & carrots are one of those. But today’s peas & carrots are not the mushy side dishes of yesteryear.
I love peas and carrots today because I resurrect it from the steam table glop that it used to be and raise it to an acceptable culinary level. Maybe not to the level of my crisp stir fried garden vegetables lightly tossed and coated with the complex flavours of the east. But something that combines a little veggie bite with subtle memories of cafeteria trays from years, nay decades, gone by. And it’s too easy.
Here we go.
Peas. I use the frozen ones. Canned ones don’t cut it, and freshly shucked from the garden are a little over the top. (I just shuck the ones from the garden right into my mouth. The best way to enjoy them.)
Carrots. Here’s the trick. Fresh carrots. I chop them into coins. (I want to be able to see them without my reading glasses.)
Sometimes I add a little shaved onion for a little extra taste.
Into a pot. A little water. Cooked only until the carrots are barely tender. (They need some bite left in them!)
Drain. A swirl of butter. Maybe a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Park them next to the potatoes. Not mashed. May I recommend the delightful Yukon Gold variety?
Enjoy! This is not your cafeteria side dish. But the memories….