As soon as you see fresh sugar snap peas at the market, grab them before the short harvest season ends. Like corn, these vegetables have the most flavor at picking, but after that their sugars convert to starches during storage. Unlike pod peas, you do not have to shell sugar snap peas--eat the entire pod with the peas inside. Preserve the sweet flavor of the peas by using a light hand with any seasonings you choose to add.
Blanch your peas. Bring 4 qt. of water to a boil in a 2-gallon saucepan over high heat.
Wash the peas thoroughly and pull the strings off of the backs.
Submerge the peas into the boiling water and cover the pot.
Boil the peas for 2 minutes.
Immediately pour the peas and boiling water into a colander set over the sink to drain the peas. Transfer the drained peas to a 1-gallon bowl half filled with ice water for 2 minutes.
Drain the chilled peas and eat raw with salt and freshly cracked pepper, or use in a recipe.
Substitute sugar snap peas for snow peas in Asian dishes. Flavor peas used this way with 1 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. fresh minced ginger, 1 tsp. minced garlic and 2 tsp. sesame oil.
Roast sugar snap peas with 1 tbsp. diced shallots, 1 tsp. fresh thyme and 2 tbsp. olive oil in a 450-degree F oven for 10 minutes.
Pair the sweetness of sugar snap peas with mint and melted butter for a simple spring side dish.
Sugar snap peas combine well tossed with 2 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning blend.