As with asparagus, the season for fresh peas and broad is brief so it's good to make the most of them before resorting once more to the useful frozen standbys. I find podding very therapeutic and it's a nice task while listening to the radio or watching TV.
The lamb here is not a million miles from souvlaki except I've not used skewers here. The principle is the same though - marinate then griddle. Peas are naturally sweet so balance well with the tartness of the lemon.
What you need:
150g lamb fillet
1 heaped teaspoon of sumac
1 small shallot, finely chopped
A portion of fresh peas
A generous handful each of flat-leaf parsley and mint
Half a lemon
Half a small preserved lemon
What to do:
Marinate the lamb - cube it, trimming off any excess fat, then put it in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, the juice from the half-lemon and the sumac. Set aside for 30 minutes while you pod the peas.
Sauté the shallot in a small knob of butter until it's soft and translucent. While it's cooking, boil the peas - they need 3-4 minutes depending how big they are. Wash the herbs, pat them dry with kitchen roll and cut the stems off. Chop the leaves, but not too finely.
Heat a cast iron grill pan until it's almost smoking hot.Grill the lamb cubes for 2-3 minutes each side.
Turn the heat right down under the shallots, add the herbs and stir through. Let them wilt for a few minutes then add the peas and finely sliced lemon. Season to taste and keep warm on a low hob until the lamb's ready.
Make a bed of the peas and place the lamb on top.
As an alternative to oil and lemon juice for the marinade, you could use plain yoghurt mixed with the sumac - its acidity works just as well as lemon in tenderising the meat, while its fat will keep it moist.
Be careful not to overcook the herbs - you want them just wilted and no more.
For a generous portion of peas, you need about 500g or just over 1lb in their pods. I really like the sharp, sour saltiness of preserved lemon but if it's too much for you use the zest of a fresh lemon instead.