Fresh Peas & Mint- Signs of Spring & Garden changes

What were once green, sprawling serpents have now reached  the peak of their pod-producing craze. The sugar-snap and snow peas have slowed down considerably and finally, we were able to keep up with them. Every morning for the past 2 months we had an espresso in one hand and went out to breakfast on the pea pods. We felt like grasshoppers grazing on all the pea tendrils and vines.

The fresh crunch and sweetness of all the pea pods was great, but after 2 months of chewing on green pods, we’re ready to plant our tomatoes!

The weather is just gorgeous now in Southern California. Spring has arrived, birds are chirping familiar tunes and new leafy life is bursting on our stone-fruit trees. A trip to our local nursery had us lugging back over 20 heirloom tomatoes, a new compost bin and a bigger collection of seeds to add to our already bulging shoe box. It’s time to start planting again!

Today was an overly productive day, considering we haven’t been able to do much in the garden until after all of the recent rains let up. All the hedges received a nice hair cut and they’re quite handsome again with their new trims. Thanks to Todd, one big hedge trimmer and a tall ladder, he wacked the hedges down to a manageable size. I stayed on the ground floor, gathered all the fallen branches to a pile while dodging the rest of the leaves raining down on me.

Harvesting peas, carrots, lettuce.  (above left)- dried seeds to sow for next year ( right) fresh peas to eat now!

The neighbors are thrilled too that we finally trimmed our leafy monsters. They actually called back to us from the other side of the fence to remind us where the trimming needed it most. And we yelled back, “you’re welcome!”. Ugh, neighbors can be so blunt sometimes.

All the gathered leaves were turned into mulch and spread across all the vegetable boxes and beneath the fruit trees.  The twice a year ritual of hedge trimming provides plenty of soft leaves and mulch for the garden. One of the benefits of excess foliage and composting is having great mulch that is so beneficial for the garden.

Someone wants to play, but gardening first. Playtime later.

Sierra and Dante weren’t any help at all today. They sniffed the fresh soil and compost and went back to playing on the lawn. What a dogs life.

The peas were pulled up and we gathered a final huge basket full of peas, most of which were bulging with plump peas inside. The tender pods were saved for more stir fries during the week and the older, tougher pods were gutted of their sweet peas and tossed with some fresh mint. Shelling the fresh pods are  the most time consuming part of this dish, but it’s worth every effort. Fresh peas, stir fried with a touch of olive oil and then tossed with a handful of fresh mint is a dish that epitomizes Spring and respecfully bids farewell to Winter.

Happy Spring!


garden fresh ingredients: mint and peas

Peas with Mint Recipe

Yield: Serves 2-3.

Total Time: 5 Minutes


  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 tbs shallots, minced (abot 1 large shallot)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 teaspooon soy sauce or Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce
  • handful fresh mint (minced)


  1. In heated saute pan, add olive oil and shallots. Cook for about 1 minute or until shallots are soft and fragrant .
  2. Add peas, cook for about 1 minute or until peas are tender. Add soy sauce. Cook for about another 30 seconds. Remove from heat .
  3. Pour peas into serving bowl and toss with fresh minced mint leaves.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

More Spring-y Peas and Mint Recipes


{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. veganelle

    Can you tell me how make 2 cups of fresh peas in grams. thank you.

    1. White on Rice Couple


  2. marla {family fresh cooking}

    I just showed my hubs around you blog as I am so excited to learn from such talented photographers later this month. You both are such a great inspiration. These peas are gorgeous!

  3. josep ma. figueras i bas

    m´ ha agradat la recepta de pèsols amb menta; no m´en recordava que ara comença el temps bo per els pèsols. M´he imprès la recepta amb la magnifica fotografia, aniré un dia d´aquests al mercat de la Boqueria i compraré pèsols per fer-la, de menta fresca ja en tinc en un test a la terraça gran.
    Et Felicito!!!
    josep ma.

  4. Tiina

    Oh, how I envy you both your lovely garden and the weather over there! 🙂 We are still waiting for the last patches of snow to melt, though I did see some lovely hepaticas in a forest on Friday, so the spring is advancing here, too.
    The recipe is lovely, so simple and makes my mouth water just to read it. I’ll keep it in mind for later when fresh peas will be available.
    And extre thanks for the pictures of Sierra and Dante. They are so cute! 🙂 Give them both a hug for me, won’t you?


  5. Lori Lynn

    Oh, your shots of the pea shoots and pods are so beautiful!
    I have got to think that the fresh peas from your garden make that simple recipe into something stellar, but I will try it with frozen peas, and I’m sure we’ll love it too. YAY for Spring and gardening, my roses are looking better than ever this year.

  6. Julie

    Espresso and pea pods! Breakfast of champions.

  7. Elisabet Figueras

    Gorgeous photos!!!!
    Nothing better than spring peas.

  8. Yumi @ Natsukashii

    Oooh so fresh! We just planted some snow peas so I’m looking forward to the produce!! 🙂 Cám ơn Diane!

  9. Clive

    Great post and beautiful pictures. Very inspiring.

  10. Charles G Thompson

    Beautiful pictures, beautiful peas too! I hear you guys have an amazing garden (insanely jealous!) Thanks for sharing a bit of it. I look forward to reading more about it too. Happy spring!

  11. Christyna

    Wow! The photography for this post is particularly beautiful today! I love, love, love the photo with the alternating leaves, spoons, and tartlets filled with peas. Incredible!

  12. A Canadian Foodie

    I am a garden nut – and when I see what you are harvesting at this time of the year… I KNOW I MUST MOVE. I love Edmonton, but our growing season is just too short.

  13. Deanna B

    This reminds me of a recipe I saw on one of Jamie Oliver’s shows ages ago for mushy peas with mint. It goes extraordinarily well with lamb chops. Next year when you need tomatoes, try Cal Poly Pomona or Cal State Fullerton’s Tomato Fest. Its amazing.

  14. Paula - bell'alimento

    Ah love what Megan said…”glorious greeness…” indeed! I’m patiently wating on my deck garden to sprout! I have been able to enjoy my herbs though! Love the combination of mint & peas! Delicious!

  15. megan

    glorious greeness…

  16. jenjenk

    i just have a pavlovian response to those peas. You guys have the *BEST* sugar snap peas I’ve ever eaten. But if you try to tell my mom I said that, “i’m totally denying it.”

  17. Elise

    Wahh? Sometimes I really envy our Southern California brethren. My pea plants are only 6 inches high! Beautiful.

  18. bunkycooks

    I love the fresh peas! I saw them once this season, bought as many as I could and thoroughly enjoyed every last one! Beautiful photos and the dogs are very cute. 🙂

  19. Delia

    Tender spring peas are just about my favorite veggie. As usual, you photographed them beautifully. While my peas will be coming in a plastic bag from my grocer’s freezer, I am looking forward to enjoying this recipe, either way.

  20. Hannah

    I just had to come out of lurking here to say that those are simply the most beautiful peas I have ever laid eyes on. Goodness, amazing photography! You’re such an inspiration.

  21. Crepes of Wrath

    I haven’t had fresh peas in years! I should pick some up – this look fantastic!

  22. chocolate shavings

    What a perfect recipe for the season – simple and fresh!

  23. Jessica @ How Sweet

    Gorgeous photos of the pea pods! Looks like the perfect Spring sidedish!

  24. Manggy

    UGH. I am insanely jealous of people who have green thumbs. (You might say I’m, er, green with envy. Corn-y!) I could chomp on that harvest with the soil still clinging to some of it. But we’ll start with the peas 😉

  25. Divina

    Gorgeous peas and photos. Sad to say I haven’t really tasted the real fresh ones.

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