Pea and chilli purée is one of those things that maybe isn’t all that exciting on its own but can add a lot to a dish. I make a batch fairly regularly and never have any trouble using it up. It’s so versatile and works great in sandwiches, on toast (particularly with eggs!), and is a great addition to a breakfast roll. You can also use it to crust tofu or simply smear on a plate to accompany your protein of choice – there are lots of possibilities!
I don’t like peas… sort of
If you follow my Instagram you probably know that I like my veg a lot and I’m always trying to think up ways of packing more into my meals. If I were to create a list of my favourite to least favourite vegetables (perhaps that’s an idea) then peas would be pretty low down on that list – do not pass the peas, please. So, why a pea recipe if I’m not the biggest fan of them?
A lot of the time when we don’t like something it’s because of how it’s been prepared. I’m sure you can think of a few foods you grew to love over time and moments when you tried something in a new way and were surprised to find you liked it. I think it’s always worth giving food you haven’t initially warmed to a second, third, even fourth chance – it deserves a fair hearing!
I had a bag of peas in my freezer from when my younger sister had been living with me. I needed to clear out some space but I didn’t want to just throw them out – there must be a way of using them up that didn’t involve forcing myself to eat boiled peas. And that’s how this recipe came about! I now always keep a bag of peas in the freezer so I can quickly make a batch of this pea and chilli purée, which I’ve found has many, many uses.
Will this purée keep its colour?
Peas will oxidise after a bit of time and the purée will lose its vibrant colour but still taste the same. This will happen with this recipe because 1) I can’t be bothered with the added faff of trying to prevent it and 2) I don’t mind the discolouration that occurs after day 1 if it’s just me who’s going to be eating it.
But if you do want to ensure the colour of your pea and chilli purée is a nice vibrant green then you can do one of two things. You can either make it fresh and serve immediately, or cook the peas separately and then shock in a bowl of ice water before adding it to a blender with everything else, which should help the purée maintain its colour.
What can I use pea and chilli purée for?
I find this pea and chilli purée is a great substitute for avocado – which you may have reasons for not eating or cutting down on. It’s great in a breakfast roll, on toast, and in a burrito, as pictured here in this post! It’s a handy one to keep in the fridge to instantly upgrade your breakfasts and lunches – I’m actually thinking of putting together a wee collection of items to keep stocked in the fridge and freezer that can easily add a lot of flavour to your meals, this being one of them!
There are lots of different ways you can make pea and chilli purée. Add butter and/or cream for richness. Pack more veg in with spinach, kale, celery, etc. Play around with some herbs and spices. Soft cheeses like feta can bring a nice tang and creaminess.
Pea and Chilli Purée
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion finely diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 small bird's eye chilli (finely chopped) or 1tsp chilli flakes
- 300 grams frozen peas
- 80 ml vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add in the onion to cook until translucent.
- Add in your garlic and chilli and cook for a minute before adding in the peas.
- Cook the peas for about 5 minutes until fully defrosted and heated through.
- Add everything to a blender or food processor, along with the vegetable stock and lemon juice. Blend together and taste for seasoning – add salt and more lemon juice to taste.