Spike Your Frozen Peas With White Wine For Flavorful Steaming

Frozen peas are perfect for adding to soups, stews, and casseroles, but unless you're a real pea enthusiast, they may not seem that exciting as a simple side dish. Fortunately, it's easy to dress them up if you happen to have some white wine handy.

First, add an aromatic ingredient like onion to the pan and saute it in butter. Then, simply toss your peas into the pan straight from the freezer and add a bit of white wine, continuing to cook until the peas are warm.

There are plenty of ways to jazz up this dish, too. Try adding herbs, spices, or a splash of citrus. Alternatively, saute diced pancetta or bacon before adding the peas. When you add the wine to deglaze the pan, be sure to scrape up the brown bits to incorporate all of that goodness into the dish.

Since the wine is not heated for very long in this recipe, it's important to note that some alcohol is likely to remain in the dish. So, make sure you let your dinner guests know in advance, just in case anyone wants to abstain.

White wines to use and avoid

When you're cooking with wine, you want to be sure to use one that you'd happily pour a glass of to sip on during the meal, too. One good pick to pair with peas is pinot grigio. The brightness of pinot grigio makes it a perfect match for peas while also complementing the butter.

Another delicious option is sauvignon blanc. This dry white wine can have complementary notes of citrus. Other wines with citrusy undertones include assyrtiko and chablis. Choose wines like these, particularly ones with herbaceous notes that will pair well with peas, for the best combination.

While most dry white wines work well for sauteing peas, there are a few wines you'll want to avoid. While you may enjoy sipping sweet wines like moscato or sweet riesling, they're not ideal for cooking savory foods. In fact, their sweetness may overpower the flavor of your peas. Additionally, although the richness of chardonnay may seem like a good pairing, it's best to avoid it — its oakiness has the potential to turn bitter when heated.

Other ways to make the most out of frozen peas

While this simple way of cooking a bag of frozen peas is probably the easiest, there are many other ways to use frozen peas. First, try incorporating them into breakfast by making a dish like braised peas and ham with eggs (if you're not into ham, you can always swap it out for Canadian bacon or chorizo). Alternatively, meal prep for the week by making a simple red rice salad with radishes and peas.

Tossing peas into pasta or rice is a great way to increase the nutrition in a dish; you can heat them with broth and butter and puree them to make a creamy soup. Peas can even be turned into pesto that you can use as an appetizer, a sauce for pasta, or a spread for a sandwich. Simply blend the peas with olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs like basil or mint.