Sunday, June 15, 2008
Emerald Green Gems
Looking back, this little gem was the sign of the warm weather to come when I was young. Growing up in Japanese suburbia umpty years ago, neither green asparagus nor ramps were the familiar faces. I'm sure we've eaten other locally grown vegetables, such as spring onions, snow peas or young spinach. But somehow, what I remember is the green peas on our dinner table signaled the definite transition - from barren winter colors to the burst of beautiful emerald green.
We used to beg our mother for the "mame gohan", simple rice dish cooked with green peas. I can still feel the soft rice mingling with slightly mushy peas, and taste the sweetness and just a hint of salt.
So I had to make this dish, only I am using short grain brown rice (I don't stock white rice any more). Apply the rice : water ratio (1 : 1.5), added two pinches of salt, and the peas, all in the pan. (Oh, did I tell I don't have a rice cooker?) Cover and cook in high heat until boiling, and reduce to barely simmering for 30 minutes. Don't touch that lid!
These peas are great for freezing. Last year I froze about 5 cups of them, and they were precious to add some color in my winter meals.