I absolutely champion great British produce, and so this month, we are celebrating the humble pea. This year, Great British Pea Week will be returning from between July 3 and July 9, continuing its mission to inspire everyone to cook with peas.
Great British Pea Week was launched by the Yes Peas! campaign to recognise the industry-wide effort made by experts across the pea vining sector, which produces two billion portions of peas for the UK market and beyond each year.
During the eight-week British harvest, farmers work in unison around the clock to harvest, shell and transport the peas from field to frozen as quickly as possible - with most making it to the factory and through the freezing process in under two and a half hours.
With the average person consuming around 9,000 peas a year, the pea harvest is critical in ensuring produce makes it to supermarket shelves to sustain the demand for the full year, with the British pea industry harvesting 160,000 tonnes of frozen peas each year.
Great British Pea Week champions the 700 pea farmers around the country, who work within 16 different grower groups to ensure that Great Britain remains the largest producer and consumer of frozen peas in Europe, maintaining the country's impressive track record of being 90 per cent self-sufficient in pea production.
Holly Jones, Crop Association Executive at the British Growers Association, which runs the Yes Peas! campaign, says: "Great British Pea Week is the perfect time to celebrate the versatile vegetable that we all love here in the UK. As a nation, we are 90 per cent self-sufficient in pea production, meaning that nearly all peas in supermarket freezers going into your trolley or online order are most likely grown by British farmers on a British farm, resulting in the superior quality we all love."
For further information about Great British Pea Week or the Yes Peas! campaign, along with recipe inspiration, please visit www.peas.org
To celebrate the British pea, please enjoy this delicious recipe from Dyson Farming, as featured in For The Love Of The Land, published by Meze Publishing.
You can also tag your pea dishes on your social media channels. Use the #GreatBritishPeaWeek or #GBPW and also follow @jennyljefferies You may just get a shout out from us.
PEA AND MINT CROQUETTES WITH A BEETROOT YOGHURT DIP
"This recipe reflects the seasonal produce from Beeswax Dyson Farming. The classic and familiar potato croquette has been given a modern edge with flavours of pea and fresh mint. This dish can either be served as a starter or alongside roast lamb," says Laura Smithson, Dyson Farming.
PREPARATION TIME: 30 MINUTES | COOKING TIME: 1 HOUR 30 MINUTES | SERVES: 12
For the croquettes
400g floury potatoes (such as King Edwards or Mozart)
1 tsp butter
40g Gruyère cheese, grated
1 medium egg yolk
Small bunch of mint, finely chopped 30g plain flour
2 medium eggs, beaten
60g panko breadcrumbs
For the dip
4 medium beetroots Rapeseed oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced Small bunch of mint, chopped 6 tbsp plain yoghurt
For the croquettes
Preheat the oven to 200°c. Peel and chop the potatoes, place them in a pan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 15 minutes, or until tender. Meanwhile, cook the peas for 5 minutes in a pan of lightly salted boiling water then drain.
Drain the potatoes and put them back into the pan over a low heat to steam off any excess water for 1 minute. Mash the potatoes with the butter then beat in the cheese and egg yolk until fully combined. Lightly crush the peas and stir these into the potatoes along with the chopped mint.
Leave the mixture to cool until it's the right temperature to handle. Divide into 12 balls. Put the flour, eggs and panko breadcrumbs into three separate bowls. Dip each croquette into the flour, knocking off any excess, then into the egg mix and finally into the panko breadcrumbs, covering each ball well. Drizzle with rapeseed oil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden.
For the dip
This can be made ahead and kept in the fridge. Wash and trim the beets, leaving the skin and roots on. Lightly oil and place them in an ovenproof dish then cover with tin foil and place in the preheated oven for 1 hour 30 minutes or until tender and easily pierced with a knife.
Once cooked, peel off and discard the skins, roughly chop the beets and place in a blender. Season with salt and pepper, add a glug of rapeseed oil, the lemon zest, half the lemon juice and all the chopped mint. Blitz until smooth. Stir in the yoghurt and check the seasoning, adding more lemon juice, salt and pepper if required. Serve the dip with the warm croquettes.