Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas
Southern peas and butter beans, popped fresh from the pod and simmered in pork-laced potlikker, signal the start of summer. And there are dozens of types—each with a subtle difference in taste and texture.
Types of Field Peas
What to Look For
When shopping for unshelled peas or butterbeans, choose flexible, well-filled pods with tender seeds.
How to Freeze Field Peas
To freeze, wash shelled peas or butterbeans and blanch in boiling water to cover for 2 minutes; cool immediately in ice water, and drain well. Package in air-tight containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace, or in zip-top plastic freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Seal, and freeze up to 6 months. Don't thaw frozen peas before cooking. Fresh or frozen field peas can easily be substituted in recipes calling for rinsed and drained canned peas. Simply use 2 cups cooked and drained peas for 1 (15-oz.) can.
How to Cook Field Peas
We like to combine different kinds of beans and peas and use a light hand with the seasoning) a whisper of garlic, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and bacon drippings) to bring out their delicate flavors. Field peas make for great succotash, salads, dips, and stews. Try some of our Summer-Fresh Field Peas Recipes.