braised peas, rocket and spring onions

the funny thing about eating primal when away from home (or away from london restaurants, with a few exceptions) is that you descend into an atkins-type low carb diet pretty quickly. which is better than eating cakes but still quite a painful experience.

you get to eat cooked breakfasts, and you can ask for salads instead of chips, but you soon start craving vegetables and textures other than flesh and tinned mushrooms. you overdose pretty quickly on processed meat like bacon and sausages – which taste exceptionally salty – and wilted leaves and cold unripe tomato which go by the name of salad in many pubs.

it makes you realise how different paleo or primal eating actually is from plain low carb or atkins, and how there is absolutely no way someone who likes food could stick with the latter: you really would die of boredom even if the heart disease risk is a myth.

anyway, i’ve had a decidedly non-primal weekend – we were at a wedding in lancashire, which was great fun but obviously you eat what you’re given. and what we were given was nice – nicer than the average wedding food, in my opinion. good soup, nice roast beef and a lovely yorkshire pudding.

a particular favourite was the evening snack of bacon or sausage sandwiches in those soft, floury baps you rarely see down south in this age of wholemeal everything. also cheese on toast on thick slices of crusty white. yum. oh, and beer – the bitter was absolutely amazing.

what i struggled with was the pudding – it was a dark and white chocolate mousse and i am sure it was very nice indeed but it was so shockingly sweet that it made me go a bit funny. and, whereas i think it would be relatively easy to get used to eating bread again, i have no desire whatsoever to eat a dessert for a long time to come.

having said all that, peas as in the recipe below are not strictly speaking primal but it seems a shame to ignore something fresh (i podded them myself) and green and seasonal for the sake of a relatively arbitrary rule. we had them with some wilted spinach and a peppered rump steak, and finished the meal off with some fresh strawberries. it tasted clean and summery.

for two

a bag of wild rocket (at a guess, 120g?)
6 spring onions, trimmed (keep the green bits for using in stocks or when you want a milder onion flavour in other recipes)
200g (or however much you want) of freshly podded peas
20g butter

put the spring onions, rocket and the peas in a pan with the butter and some salt, add about a tablespoon of water, cover and braise for 10 minutes or so. season with fresh black pepper and a drizzle of good olive oil at the end. that’s it.


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