Side Dishes

Sautéed Garden Peas with Basil and Pecorino

Sautéed Garden Peas with Basil and Pecorino

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Servings: 4

A speedy sauté brings out the natural sweetness and enhances the crunch of two kinds of spring peas. Anise-like fresh basil, tart lemon zest and tangy pecorino cheese are sprinkled on top for a delicious, fresh and fast side dish.


  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. (250 g) sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 lb. (500 g) English peas, shelled
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • Leaves from 4 fresh basil sprigs, torn into pieces
  • About 1 oz. (30 g) chunk pecorino romano cheese


  • In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the sugar snap peas and English peas. Pour in 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) water and add a pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water has evaporated, about 2 minutes longer. The peas should be crisp-tender and still bright green.
  • Finely grate 2 tsp. zest from the lemon, then halve the lemon. Remove the pan from the heat and squeeze the juice from 1 lemon half over the peas (reserve the remaining half for another use). Add the lemon zest, basil and a pinch each of salt and pepper to the pan. Grate cheese over the top to taste and stir to mix well. Transfer the peas to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately. Serves 4.
  • Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Good for You, by Dana Jacobi (Weldon Owen, 2013)

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