In 2020, Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards, of Sydney’s innovative cafe Cornersmith, wrote a clever book, Use It All, as a way to help home cooks to, among many other things, reduce food waste but “eat generously” while doing it.

Along with recipes you can easily adapt to what you have in your kitchen, they have dishes that use every part of the ingredient (such as this recipe for using all of a cauliflower). The book also includes lots of clever solutions (much like they do on their Instagram account) such as how to turn stale bread into new culinary creations.

And while Elliott-Howery and Edwards admit they take a fresh-is-best approach, they do keep a pack of peas (and often raspberries) in their freezer and acknowledge it can be hugely practical for those without access to the fresh stuff. Frozen peas are also great for time-poor people or those on a tight budget.

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“Frozen peas are part of the legume family and are surprisingly high in protein and vitamin K,” they write. “They’re an excellent way to get a serving of green vegetables into your day when the fridge is empty. A cup of peas stirred through pasta cooked in broth is simple and nutritious, and much faster than waiting for takeaway.”

For cooking suggestions, they say peas go really well with herbs like mint, dill, parsley, thyme,
rosemary and sage. “When it comes to spices, the curried flavours of cumin, ginger and curry leaves are an excellent pairing with peas. Sweet peas also need a little acid, so use lemon, white wine or garlic. Other green vegetables such as broccoli and asparagus are good mates with peas, or make simple pairings with potatoes, carrots, butter and salt,” they write.

And the tip to thawing your frozen peas before cooking them? “Place them in a colander in the sink for 10 minutes.”

Here are three recipes for frozen peas.

Herby pea puree
Serves 2–4 depending on use (makes 400g)
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

For easy, thrifty midweek meals, make this pea puree. It’s a staple in both our houses as an alternative to pesto, and it’s great on toast or baked potatoes, with pasta or warm potato salad, or in soups or a pea and ham toastie.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tbsp herbs (e.g. dill, parsley, celery leaves or mint), chopped
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp dried thyme or oregano
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
200ml beef bone stock (or good vegetable stock)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a frying pan and saute the onion for 4-5 minutes, until soft and sweet. Add garlic, your chosen herbs, lemon zest and the dried thyme or oregano. Saute for 1 minute until fragrant. Add peas and mix well. Pour in stock and a pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Transfer the pea mixture to a food processor or use a stick blender and blend to a rough puree. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Curried peas
Serves 4 as a side
Preparation time: 2 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

This dish may sound daggy but it is true comfort food. Serve as a side with a stew and mash, with curry, with fish cakes or with rice for a simple lunch.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp salt
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
½ cup stock
2 tsp ginger, grated

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, saute onion until soft and sweet. Add curry powder, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, garlic clove and salt and saute for 1 minute. Add peas and saute again for 3 minutes, then add stock and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the stock has absorbed into the peas. Stir through freshly grated ginger before serving.

Pea and mint soup
Serves 4
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Mint really helps peas to be their best self. It’s a classic combination and makes for a bright soup. Serve warm or chilled.

2 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 onion, diced
500g frozen peas, thawed
250ml chicken or vegetable stock

1 tsp pepper
1 bunch mint leaves

Heat butter or oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and saute, stirring, for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add peas and saute for 3–5 minutes. Pour in stock and simmer over medium heat for 7–10 minutes. Reduce the heat, add pepper (and salt if needed), then stir through mint leaves. Blend with a stick blender or in a food processer. Check for seasoning and serve with buttered toast.

Images and text from Use It All by Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards, photography by Cath Muscat. Murdoch Books $39.99. Buy it here.

Looking for more recipe inspiration? Check out Broadsheet’s recipe hub.