Celebrating the pea

Celebrating the pea

Posted 13th Jul 2016

Did you know that this week is Great British Pea Week?

Launched by the Yes Peas! campaign on behalf of British pea growers, Great British Pea Week (running from 11-17 July) gives everyone a reason to celebrate peas. We've rounded up a few of our favourite pea facts, along with some tasty recipes to get you firmly help you enjoy the first annual awareness week to mark our pea harvesting season.

- Did you know that the UK is the largest producer and consumer of frozen peas across Europe? On average we'll each eat 9,000 peas a year.

- To keep Britain well stocked throughout the year, every July will see around 700 pea growers harvesting two billion portions of peas.

- Britain is self-sufficient for around 90% of it's pea production, growing 35,000 hectares of peas in the UK each year. 

- Peas are a good source of vitamins A, C, folate, thiamine (B1), iron and phosphorus, as well as protein, carbohydrates and fibre. They're also incredibly low in fat.

- Harvesting lasts for an average of six to eight weeks. Harvesting machines, that are known as viners, will working in unison to transport the peas from field to frozen as quickly as possible. This will often be carried out in just 150 minutes.

- The machinery and precision required will mean growers collaborate to produce the crop. As it stands there are 18 farmer groups on the east coast of the UK - the east-facing seaboard provides the perfect environment and climate to grow a superior quality of pea.

fishfinger ryvitaCrunchy Fish Finger Ryvitas with Crushed Peas

You will need

4 hint of chilli or sunflower seed & oats Ryvitas
A little butter, for spreading
4 frozen fish fingers
100g frozen peas
1 rounded tablespoon mayonnaise
1 rounded tablespoon thick Greek-style natural yoghurt
4 small gherkins (cornichons), finely chopped
2 teaspoons capers, drained and roughly chopped
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Pre-heat the grill. While it’s heating, spread the Ryvitas with a little butter.

2. Grill the fish fingers for 6 minutes on each side. While they are grilling, cook the peas in a little boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain them thoroughly, then tip them into a bowl and mash them – either with the back of a spoon or with a potato masher.

3. Make the tartare sauce by mixing together the mayonnaise, yoghurt, gherkins and capers. Stir half of this mixture into the peas, then spread this pea mixture onto the Ryvitas. Top each one with a fish finger and finish off with the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle with a little freshly ground black pepper.

Tip: Add a squeeze of lemon juice to the tartare sauce if you have some handy.

Recipe courtesy of www.ryvita.co.uk

pea souffleAsparagus, Pea & Goats’ Cheese Souffle

You will need

50g butter
30g walnuts, lightly crushed
300g British asparagus
200g fresh British peas (shelled weight)
200ml whole milk
2tbs flour
3 eggs
100g goats cheese, such as Capricorn
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / gas 6.

2. Melt the ½ of the butter and use it to brush the inside of 6 ramekin dishes. Sprinkle the walnuts into the dishes and tap around the edge so they stick to the butter. Arrange on a baking sheet and set aside.

3. Cut the asparagus into 1cm pieces, leaving the tips a little longer. Cook with the peas in plenty of boiling salted water until tender. Drain and, reserving the asparagus tips, puree the stems and peas to a coarse paste using a hand blender or food processor. Set aside.

4. Melt the rest of the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the flour to make a roux and cook for a minute before whisking in the milk. Cook the sauce for a few minutes until thickened and remove from the heat.

5. Chop the goats’ cheese into cubes and stir through the sauce along with the pureed asparagus and peas. Season generously.

6. Separate the eggs carefully, tipping the yolks into the asparagus sauce and the whites into a really clean metal bowl. Stir the yolks through the sauce to mix well.

7. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fluffy. Don’t over whisk as they will be too dry to fold through the asparagus sauce.

8. Take a large spoon of the egg white and stir it vigorously in the sauce, then pour the sauce into the bowl of eggs whites. Using a large metal spoon fold the sauce very, very gently through the egg whites.

9. Spoon the mixture very gently into the prepared ramekins, push the reserved tips gently into the top of the mixture and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Try to resist opening the oven door whilst they are cooking as they will collapse.

10. Serve immediately with a simple green salad.

Recipe courtesy of http://britishasparagus.com/

Organic Barley, Pea & Mint Salad

pea risottoYou will need

250g organic fresh peas
Organic vegetable oil
300g organic pearl barley
1 litre organic veg stock
Organic black pepper
100ml organic rapeseed oil
1 organic lemon
1 tablespoon organic chopped chives
1 tablespoon organic chopped mint
100g organic goat’s cheese or fresh goat’s curd
Handful of organic pea shoots


1. Start by cooking the peas in a pan of boiling water. Boil for one minute, then drain from the water and run under cold water to refresh. Set aside until later.

2. Add a splash of vegetable oil to a pan on a medium-hot heat and lightly toast the barley.

3. Pour in the first ladleful of stock with a little salt. Stirring continuously, let the stock absorb and add another ladleful of stock, one at a time, until the barley is cooked through but with a slight bite (you may not need to use all the stock).

4. Leave to cool slightly, add in some black pepper, the rapeseed oil and lemon juice and stir through, before adding the peas and chopped herbs.

5. Serve in bowls or deep plates, and scatter with the goat’s cheese. Dress with a little extra rapeseed oil and the pea shoots to serve.

Created by Emily Watkins for the ‘Organic. Naturally Different’ campaign, courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com

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