Grandma’s Creamed Fresh Peas with Basil

A bowl of green peas in a creamy sauce sits on a wooden table surrounded by a napkin with a green paisley print.
Peas with Cream Sauce and Basil is a classic side dish that showcases the sweet peas of summer. The basil really amplifies the sweet taste of the fresh peas while the cream sauce ties it all together into one comforting dish. 
 

Food Based Emotion

If you love food, I mean REALLY love food, then chances are you have had a dining experience that has brought you to tears. I’m talking tears of amazement and gratitude, not of sadness. The emotions that food can inspire can really sneak up on you when you least expect it. It’s difficult to explain, but I think the love and care that the chef puts into the dish has no choice but to come out through the diner. 

A bowl of green peas in a creamy sauce.

Shelling Peas in the Shade

At the same time, food can also evoke emotion based on memory. The food doesn’t have to be fancy, it could be a brie mousse from your first Michelin star experience or it could be a bologna and cheese sandwich. One taste can bring you back to your childhood, or to a special time and place. These Creamed Peas are that kind of dish. One mouthful and I’m back at my Grandparents house, shelling peas in the shade. 

Close up of green peas in a cream sauce on an antique scalloped silver spoon.

Fresh Peas from the Garden

In the country, there’s plenty of space in the garden to grow rows and rows of peas. Even field peas, grown for animal feed, can be picked and eaten while they’re still young and sweet. This is the perfect time of year to make this dish. You can buy decent frozen baby peas and they’ll be fine, but there’s nothing as sweet as these freshly shelled delights. Sadly, I don’t have enough room in my garden to grow enough, even for one meal. So, last weekend we took a trip out to Edgar Farms to snag a bag for ourselves. 

A bowl of green peas in a creamy sauce sits on a wooden table surrounded by a napkin with a green paisley print.

Cream Pea Inspiration

I knew as soon as I finished shelling the entire bag that I wanted to make an extra special side dish for dinner. So, I dug out our family cookbook and looked up Grandma’s recipe. To my surprise, her recipe was basically fresh peas in a creamy Bechamel sauce. I’m sure she didn’t know the sauce by it’s proper culinary term but that’s not really important. She is an amazing cook and has inspired me in so many ways. 

A bowl of green peas in a creamy sauce sits on a wooden table surrounded by a napkin with a green paisley print.

A Culinary Twist

Grandma was the first to encourage me to use my palate. She would set me simple kitchen tasks when I was young, then complete the recipe and have me taste the final product. If I said it needed more seasoning, she would season it. I cannot express how important her trust was in giving me the confidence to experiment while cooking. I’d love for her to taste the change I made to her dish; the basil really compliments the peas and makes it even more special.

Pin it HERE.

Pinterest image of A bowl of green peas in a creamy sauce sits on a wooden table surrounded by a napkin with a green paisley print.

Give Peas a Chance with These Recipes from Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen

Summer Pea Orecchiette Pesto Pasta Recipe

Ham and Pea Soup

Yield: 4 servings

Grandma's Creamed Fresh Peas with Basil

Grandma's Creamed Fresh Peas with Basil
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups freshly shelled peas
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • handful fresh basil leaves cut in a chiffonade (roll the leaves together into one large one then cut into tiny slices.
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour to melted butter and stir well.

2. Add cream and whisk vigorously to incorporate.

3. Add milk and whisk vigorously to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Mixture should be smooth and not ready to boil just yet.

4. Add the peas and stir continuously until the cream sauce begins to thicken. If sauce appears too thick, stir in more milk until it becomes your desired consistency.

5. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

Notes

Cooking the peas in the cream sauce results in peas that are still bright green and fresh. I like them when they still pop in your mouth. If you like them a bit more cooked, feel free to blanch them, then add to the sauce after it has thickened.

11 comments

  1. Julia

    I’m with you on how tastes and smells evoke so many memories. It’s always food memories for me! Special for you to have such fond memories in the kitchen with your grandma. This pea and basil dish looks absolutely mouth watering. Beautiful!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I’m very lucky to have those memories with all 3 of my grandmas. They each taught me something special and helped me to learn about who I was as a cook.

      Reply

  2. Isabelle @ Crumb

    Funny how shelling peas brings back memories of shelling peas with our grandma for so many of us (or in my case, with my great-aunt, who also made a delicious recipe with her fresh peas).
    I’ve never tried creamed peas before, but I love the simplicity of this dish and how you’ve personalized it with basil… hope I can get my hands on some sweet peas at the market this weekend so I can try it out for myself!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I hope you do too Isabelle, it’s such a treat!

      Reply

  3. Leanne @ Crumb Top Baking

    It’s so lovely that you’re sharing you grandma’s recipe, and that she was such an inspiration to you in the kitchen. I’m sure she would love your addition of basil. It’s such a delicious herb to add to dishes!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I love writing posts like this! Sometimes I forget these things and when I cook, it brings back the memory. Also, basil and peas is amazing!!

      Reply

  4. Jaclyn Shimmel

    I can’t wait to try this recipe – I haven’t had creamed peas in forever!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It’s an oldie, but a goodie!!

      Reply

  5. Kristen

    What a beautiful, simple dish. Nostalgia is such an important piece in food. Peas make me think of spending summers at my Grandmas picking peas in the garden and eating as many as we brought back to the house.

    Reply

  6. Nina

    I have great memories of baking with my grandmother and love that you are sharing your grandmother’s recipe. I can’t wait to try this recipe this summer!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Wonderful! I hope to one day pass along my love of cooking and baking to my grandchildren, I think it’s a grandma’s special super power!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.