Garden peas are one of the great treasures of springtime. When you find them in the market, feature them in a dish with fresh favas or asparagus, which are in season at the same time. If you are lucky enough to grow your own or have access to farm fresh pods, you can shell and store peas to use year-round.
1. Look for bright green pods that are not shriveled or yellowed. Some experts say that if the peas are fresh, you will hear them squeak when you rub two pods together.
2. Hold the peapod between your thumb and forefinger so that the curved side is facing up and press the pod with your thumb to pop it open. Run your thumb down the inside of the pod to pop out the peas. Collect them in a bowl. A pound of peas in the pod will typically give you about 1/2 cup of shelled peas.
While you can eat most peas raw, a quick blanch in boiling water brings out their sweetness. Blanched peas are perfect for freezing. Spread them on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to dry and cool, then freeze them until firm and transfer to a zip-top bag or other container for storage.