I think there is some kind of injustice going on towards the green pea but then I can't decide if it is justified or not, though injustice should no be justified, ever.
See, green peas are one of the most loved vegetables or at least, innocuous enough not to bring in a fanfare of dislike noises. Green peas contain lots of protein, carbohydrates, vitamin C and dietary fibre. Delicious when in season from May to October and very good frozen too.
Mostly never imported green peas are good veg for the carbon footprint issue. And by the way "despite being considered a vegetable for culinary purposes each pea pod and its contents is collectively a fruit, the peas themselves being the seeds."
On the other hand, green peas are terribly treated, boiled served with a little butter or a few twigs of mint, they seat there, as an accompaniment, often eaten without being given a thought to. When was the last time you heard "oh nice peas"? Green peas hardly have a dish of their own, even pea soup contains other flavours, onions and bacon. It is always pea and somewhat else.
At Christmas when I saw a recipe for Green Pea Mousse, I pictured myself as the lone avenger and went for it. I regretted it. Don't get me wrong, the mousse was absolutely delicious, it went so well with the foie gras that it wowed everyone. The colour was amazing, a perfect and unusual starter.
But, a nightmare to make. For the mousse to be delicious, it needs to be sieved. I might as well have stuffed lentils. to achieve the right consistency, it needs all the shells removed from the final product hence sieve and that take a long time. Not a good idea for Christmas dinner but any other more intimate occasion and this is a winner.
Green Pea Mousse
- 3 sheets leaf gelatine
- 200 g petit pois
- pinch sugar
- 80ml double cream
Place the gelatine leaves into a tray of cold water follow the instructions, I usually allow 5 minutes
Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan, then add the peas and boil for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat.
Sieve (but keep a little cooking water just in case) and blend until smooth (add a little bit of the cooking if it looks to thick)
While the purée is still hot, remove the gelatine leaves from the water, squeeze out any excess moisture and add to the purée and blend again.
And now for the fun bit, sieve the puree so that none of the shells get through then season to taste with sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
When the purée is set, whip the double cream to soft peaks and fold it into the purée. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow the mousse to set completely.
A labour of love but well worth it.