Snow peas and sugar snap peas are delicious eaten straight off the plant. Their growth patterns and uses are similar, but sugar snaps are slightly fatter and rounder than snow peas. They are so sweet and crisp even the most vegetable-phobic child seems to enjoy them - quite often they don't make it inside the house!
In the garden
The pea plant’s main growth period is during winter and early spring when temperatures are cool. Peas, snow peas and sugar snap peas cope well with frost so plant in autumn and throughout winter. They can grow up to 2m high so it is a good idea to grow them against netting or a trellis.
In the kitchen
Blanch sugar snap peas and snow peas to set the bright green colour and crisp texture before adding to dishes. Blanching is the process whereby vegetables are steeped very briefly in boiling water. You don’t want to cook them, just set their colour and slightly soften their texture. As soon as the peas come out of the water they need to be cooled quickly in icy water.
You can also nip the fresh green shoots from the plants and use them in salads and stir-fries.
These are some of my favourite recipes for snow peas and sugar snap peas: