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Video: Giada cooks up a pea-filled spring feast

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    >> this morning we're "cooking with giada today." chef giada de laurentiis is here with peas. they're at their peak in spring and giada is sharing some of her favorite recipes. good morning.

    >> good morning.

    >> spring is the time for peas?

    >> it is, and it's one of my favorite spring ingredients. we have english peas and snap peas . i grow both in my garden. have you ever -- oops. nevermind, that one was already opened but can you open a pea? do it, let's see. these are fun and i think with my daughter, who is five we open them up.

    >> you can eat them like this.

    >> you can eat them raw or what i like to do especially for this first dish is blanch them. you only blanch them for a minute, boil saltwater, put them in for a minute and put them in ice water for the green color.

    >> is it something when you look at a pea in the supermarket?

    >> you want to look for something fat and plump. if they look kind of dry, old, the peas will be starchier. you can see this one right here is starting to get old so you want to skip it and get ones that are fat. you can feel the peas inside of it. snap peas you can eat straight or branch them. i'm going to show you three different ways to use peas. the first one english peas, you take the peas out, blanch them and put them in ice water and the food processor . so what we do now is we're going to put, you know what, let's open this. i wanted to started with it closed because i don't know how to open this thing. there we go.

    >> i don't either. i'm no help.

    >> there are so many makes and models. to give it more sweetness and freshness some garlic and a little salt and pepper and we're making a pea puree and italian broth. there we go, perfect. now you turn it on.

    >> pulse it?

    >> no, just start.

    >> we're going to mix it together so start to puree it and add half a cup of extra virgin olive oil . turn it off. and you can kind of mix it together like this.

    >> beautiful.

    >> we'll take the blid out.

    >> i got it, we're good.

    >> all over willie, sorry. you're going to put it in here and there we go. now here use this and get it all in there. see that color?

    >> beautiful.

    >> it smells sweet because of the mint and because of the peas. then what i do at this point is add a half cup of parmesan cheese . it brings it together. just gives it a little bit of salty, cheesy bite and i mix it in here because that container gets really, really hot. we have a minute left.

    >> people are here.

    >> the pea puree is done.

    >> hi, guys.

    >> hi. we're going to make lemon broth, sha shallots, olive oil , lemon zest and lemon juice and chicken broth and let it simmer for five minutes just like that. salmon, salt, pepper, in the pan. sear it on both sides, about four to five minutes for medium rare on each side, looks like this and the finished dish, you can finish it.

    >> should we put it underneath?

    >> a do a little bit of the pea puree.

    >> with the fish on top.

    >> the broth is over there and maybe al can do that.

    >> what is this?

    >> that's mint to finish it off.

    >> this looks amazing. what is this?

    >> turkey scallopini with a saffron sauce.

    >> tomorrow giada joins us for the take three. up next hoda and kathie lee . .

TODAY recipes
updated 4/8/2013 3:49:48 PM ET 2013-04-08T19:49:48

Recipe: Salmon in lemon brodetto with pea puree

  • Lemon brodetto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • Pea puree
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed (about 10 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salmon
  • 4 4-to-6-ounce pieces of salmon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the lemon brodetto, warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the lemon juice, zest and broth. Bring to a simmer, and keep warm, covered, over low heat.

To make the pea puree, combine the peas, mint, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and puree. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady drizzle. Transfer the pea puree to a small bowl and stir in the parmesan cheese. Set aside.

To make the salmon, warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Season the salmon pieces with salt and pepper. Sear the salmon until a golden crust forms, about 4 to 5 minutes on the first side. Flip the fish and continue cooking until medium-rare, about 2 minutes more depending on the thickness of the fish.

To assemble the dish, add the tablespoon chopped mint to the lemon brodetto and divide between 4 shallow dishes. Place a large spoonful of pea puree into the center of each bowl. Place a salmon piece atop each mound of pea puree. Serve immediately.

Recipe: Snap pea and cucumber salad

  • Salad
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 2 small Persian cucumbers, unpeeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1/2 large lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the snap peas and cook until vibrant green, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of iced water to cool, about 2 minutes. Drain and place in a salad bowl. Add the cucumbers, tomatoes and dill.

For the dressing:

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and zest until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until coated.


As an alternative to boiling, the snap peas can be lightly steamed for 2 minutes.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

Recipe: Turkey scaloppini with peas and saffron cream sauce

  • 1 pound turkey scaloppini or cutlets (about 12 slices)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper. Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy large frying pan over high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the turkey and sauté until just cooked through and golden, about 45 to 60 seconds per side. Transfer the turkey to a platter and tent with foil to keep it warm. Repeat with the remaining turkey, adding more butter and oil to the pan as necessary.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the wine, broth and saffron, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and boil until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Add the peas and return the sauce to a simmer. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Pour the sauce over the turkey and serve with lemon wedges.

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

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