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Spicy Peas with Bacon

Thai chile gives these fresh peas with bacon a lingering heat

There's something satisfying about splitting open a fresh pea pod: ripping the stem and pulling out the string, the fresh grassy smell that perfumes the air, the way the peas pop out as your finger slides down the casing.

What's maybe even more satisfying is our recipe for spicy peas with bacon. We toss shelled spring peas with smoky pieces of bacon and coat them in bacon fat, just barely cooking them so they retain their freshness. For a surprising pop of spice, thin slivers of Thai chiles add a lingering but pleasant heat. Tendrils of mint chiffonade top the dish at the end. The result is a fresh, savory and simple spring side dish that comes together in just a few minutes.

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Shell 1 pound of fresh peas (you can sub 1 pound of thawed frozen peas) and set aside. In a large sauté pan, cook 3 strips of diced, thick-cut bacon until crispy and the fat has rendered out. Add 1 to 2 thinly sliced Thai chiles to the pan. Stir with the bacon, cooking for 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and melt. Add the fresh peas to the pan and stir to combine. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until the peas are bright green and starting to blister. Remove from the heat and garnish with the mint chiffonade.

Get more easy vegetable side recipes:
Quick and Easy Vegetable Sides from Martha
Simple Vegetable Sides with 6 Ingredients or Less
All Greens, All the Time: 25 Green Vegetable Sides