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Sautéed sweet green peas pair perfectly with the savory onion flavor of leeks. Honey and sumac round out the dish and create a subtly sweet and slightly tangy spring side dish.

close up top view of spring peas side dish on marble plate

Every trip I’ve made to the grocery store since mid-March I’ve asked the patient produce employees at Wegmans when they’ll have fiddlehead ferns in. And every week it’s the same response: It should be soon now!

It’s like waiting on cranberries in fall or peaches in summer: frustrating, but so worth the wait. Part of what makes these things so special is that they’re only available for a short season each year.

Until I find fiddleheads at the store, I’ll continue enjoying other spring treats like leeks. Sweet green peas are another spring delicacy, and if you can find them fresh and have the time to shell them, by all means, go with fresh. I used frozen here, which is a good substitute.

plate of peas and onions with sumac and lemon

And here’s a tip when buying frozen green peas: I like to buy the small frozen green peas, which you will sometimes see labeled as “petite” or “baby”. These are usually more sweet and tender than their larger counterparts. (Whatever you do, please just don’t use canned peas – ugh!)

If you’re looking for a new green peas recipe for a spring side dish, give this one a try. The natural sweet, slightly grassy flavor of peas perfectly complements the savory onion flavor of fresh leeks. Sumac adds a touch of tanginess and honey rounds it out with sweetness.

Pair this spring side dish with roast chicken, lamb chops, or anything you grill up!

ingredients for green pea spring side dish on marble countertop

Sautéed Green Peas and Leeks Ingredients and Substitutions

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

  • Ghee – Aka, clarified butter. Or you can use olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Leek – Leek adds savory onion flavor that balances out the earthy sweet flavor of green peas.
  • Frozen green peas – Look for baby sweet green peas, and thaw and drain them.
  • Honey – We use just a touch of honey for sweetness. It brings out the natural sweet flavor of green peas, and it balances the tangy sumac.
  • Sumac – Sumac is a dark red spice that’s popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. It adds an earthy citrus flavor that’s similar to lemon. Sumac is available on Amazon; however, if you can’t find it, you can use 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon zest + 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice instead.
  • Salt and black pepper – These pantry-staple seasonings add a ton of flavor here.

Instructions

  1. Heat the ghee in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the leek and sauté until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the peas and cook until warm, about 2 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the honey, sumac, salt, and black pepper.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the parsley. 
  5. Serve warm, along with lemon wedges to squeeze on top.

Tips

  • Leek typically grows in sandy soil, so make sure you rinse it well to remove all the sand and grit.
  • For a completely different flavor profile, omit the sumac and use za’atar instead.
  • Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Special Diet Friendly

As written, this recipe is naturally gluten free. To make it a vegan side dish, you can use olive oil or avocado oil instead of ghee, and maple syrup or agave nectar instead of honey.

front view of plate of spring green peas with lemon

The Cookware

When you’re cooking, good quality ingredients are of course top priority. However, cookware also plays a big part, so let’s talk about that for a quick minute!

Recently Wolf Gourmet contacted me asking if I’d be interested in receiving a cookware set to play around with in my kitchen. They might as well have asked me if I want a month-long supply of dark chocolate or a trip to Europe. The answer to that was of course, yes, please and thank you.

When the cookware first arrived and I was thinking about what to make, I knew I wanted to try out a tool that gets a lot of use in my kitchen: a skillet!

close up top view of sauteed peas and onions in skillet with fresh lemon

This sautéed spring vegetable dish was perfect and as always, having the right tool for the job is imperative. I used the 8.5-inch skillet, which I have to say, handles like a dream.

I was impressed to learn that their “cookware is crafted in the USA using multiple layers of stainless steel with an inner core of aluminum for incredible durability. Seven-layer construction throughout provides even heat distribution, faster heating, and superior heat retention for everything from searing steaks to cooking delicate sauces.” I might just have a new favorite.

The cookware set I received is available for purchase at Bloomingdale’s. However, thanks to Wolf Gourmet and Bloomingdale’s, you have the chance to win the same skillet that I used to make this dish. Scroll down below the recipe card for details on how to enter!

More Green Pea Side Dishes to Try

green peas and leeks with lemon on plate

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Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media.

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Sautéed Green Peas with Leeks Recipe

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Sautéed sweet green peas pair perfectly with the savory onion flavor of leeks. Honey and sumac round out the dish and create a subtly sweet and slightly tangy spring side dish.

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Ingredients
 

  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter ghee
  • 1 large leek outer leaves removed, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, and rinsed well
  • 2 cups frozen green peas thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • A few fresh parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
  • A couple fresh lemon wedges for serving (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Heat the ghee in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the leek and sauté until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the peas and cook until warm, about 2 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the honey, sumac, salt, and black pepper.
  • Transfer to a serving dish and top with the parsley.
  • Serve warm, along with lemon wedges to squeeze on top.

Notes

  • Leek: Leek typically grows in sandy soil, so make sure you rinse it well to remove all the sand and grit.
  • Switch Up the Flavor: For a completely different flavor profile, omit the sumac and use za’atar instead.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 926IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

sauteed green peas and leeks recipe pin

Giveaway (CLOSED)

I’m thrilled to be giving away one Wolf Gourmet 8.5-inch skillet (retail value $149.95) to one lucky winner! (Thank you to Wolf Gourmet and Bloomingdale’s for sponsoring this giveaway!)

wolf stainless pan

To participate in this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite spring food.

For extra entries, you can do any of the following (please leave a separate comment for each so they can be counted as additional entries):

You do not need to have a blog to enter this giveaway. To enter, you must be at least 18 years old. For shipping purposes, this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents and we are not able to ship to P.O. boxes.

This giveaway ends on April 10, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST. Once the giveaway ends, the winner will be randomly chosen and notified via email. The winner will have three business days to respond with his or her mailing information, otherwise a new winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck to all!

Disclosure: Wolf Gourmet and Bloomindale’s provided me with a cookware set for review, and they are providing the skillet for this giveaway; as always, opinions stated are my own. 

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on April 4, 2016 and updated on April 1, 2024.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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126 Comments

  1. My favorite Spring food is dandelion salad. My parents used to go out to a big field and pick dandelion greens every Spring, and all of us kids would help with washing them over and over again. It was always well worth the effort to get to eat the best salad I’ve ever had. These days, although I don’t go to a field and pick dandelion greens, I can sometimes find them in a local market. As I prepare and eat dandelion salad, I remember my mom and dad, and the memories make it taste even better.

  2. Mary Gethard says:

    I love, love, love fresh broccoli from my garden – the little tender stalks are perfect to eat straight from the garden and to toss into salad, but sauteed with a little garlic, lemon and salt… yummmm!

  3. I’ve been waiting for fiddleheads also! I did see ramps at the store yesterday, so I think fiddleheads probably can’t be far behind. The flavors in this side dish are UNREAL. Sumac is one of my favorite spices.

  4. I love to start eating bright fruits in spring, reminds me that summer is right around the corner!

    demureprincess7(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. LynneMarie says:

    My most used kitchen tool is my chef knife.

  6. LynneMarie says:

    My favorite Spring food is Artichokes.

  7. I like Faith’s Kitchen on facebook

  8. I Like Bloomingdale’s on Facebook

  9. most used tool is my silicone spatula

  10. I like Sub Zero and Wolf on facebook

  11. I like Bloomingdale’s on Facebook.

  12. I like Sub-Zero and Wolf on Facebook.

  13. I like your Facebook page.

  14. My most used kitchen tool would have to be my stand mixer. I use it about 4 days a week to make, cookies, cake, pizza dough, soft pretzels, bread, etc.

  15. I love asparagus and put it with anything from rice to on a pizza.

  16. I Like Bloomingdale’s on Facebook as debbiekaye

  17. I Like Sub-Zero and Wolf on Facebook as debbiekaye

  18. I Like An Edible Mosaic on Facebook as debbiekaye

  19. My most used kitchen tool is my favorite knife followed closely by my Kitchen Aid mixer.

  20. I really love the tender, fresh lettuce straight from the garden.

  21. Oh boy – I’ll have to go with artichokes. I’m a fiend! I could eat them every. single. day!

    Love the simplicity of this dish, Faith. Some of my favorite flavors on one plate – leeks make everything so buttery. And, agreed on no canned peas or spinach for that matter. Awful.

  22. We adore peas and add them to everything, especially Indian cuisine. We also adore peas plain. But oddly I have never made a seasoned pea dish–except one attempt at a mint pea soup that none of us cared for. But we love sumac–so I am super intrigued by this! I really ought to try more pea dishes, especially because they are so awesome year round since they freeze so well. Pinning!

  23. Emily Smith says:

    Asparagus — hands down!

  24. What a beautiful dish. It just oozes springtime. . .which I am desperately wishing for after that cold snap that just rolled into Boston.

    As for my favorite Spring time food. . .well since moving to New England I too have a new found love for fiddleheads (the taste is amazing and their shape is so much fun). . .and of course spring wouldn’t be spring without strawberries. I love to poach them and spoon them onto yogurt.

  25. I like Bloomingdale’s on Facebook as Cindy Aiton.

  26. I like Sub-Zero and Wolf on Facebook as Cindy Aiton.

  27. I like An Edible Mosaic on Facebook as Cindy Aiton.

  28. My most used kitchen tool is my indoor grill.

  29. My favorite spring food is a fresh fruit salad from my local farmers market. Thank you so much for the giveaway!

  30. Bianca @ Sweet Dreaming says:

    my most used kitchen tool is definitely my vitamix!!

  31. Bianca @ Sweet Dreaming says:

    asparagus and strawberries!!

  32. My most used kitchen tool is the peeler! I use it multiple times a day, think I should invest in two so my kids can help :)

  33. Cheryl Larimer says:

    My most used tool in the kitchen is my filet knife. I use it for something almost every day. I like the handle, weight and feel of this particular knife and it is the first one I go for every time.

  34. Cheryl Larimer says:

    I like Sub-Zero and Wolf on Facebook – Cheryl Larimer

  35. Cheryl Larimer says:

    I Liked Bloomingdale’s on FB – Cheryl Larimer

  36. Cheryl Larimer says:

    I liked An Edible Mosaic (Faith’s Kitchen) on Facebook

  37. Cheryl Larimer says:

    My favorite spring food is Walleye and sauteed veggies. I am not sure if it counts as a spring dish, but to get it freshly caught and cook it up that night is a special treat.

  38. Rana Durham says:

    i Like Bloomingdale’s on Facebook. rana durham

  39. Rana Durham says:

    i Like Sub-Zero and Wolf on Facebook rana durham

  40. Rana Durham says:

    i Like An Edible Mosaic on Facebook. rana durham is my name on facebook

  41. Rana Durham says:

    I LOVE MAKING fruit kebabs

  42. My most used kitchen tool is probably my immersion blender. Love it.

  43. My favorite spring food is ice cream. Sometimes it’s too cold to eat in the winter. Come spring, game on!

  44. I Like Bloomingdale’s on Facebook as David Lintz

  45. I Like Sub-Zero and Wolf on Facebook as David Lintz

  46. I Like An Edible Mosaic on Facebook as David Lintz

  47. Our most used kitchen tool is our dutch oven. Most of our meals are cooked on the stove top.

  48. My favorite spring food is potato salad, as a side dish of course with hefty helpings of barbecue.

  49. Brenda Haines says:

    My most used kitchen tools would be my wooden spoons and spatulas. Thanks!

  50. Karen Goodwin Delaney likes Bloomingdales on Facebook

  51. Karen Goodwin Delaney likes Sub-Zero and Wolf on Facebook

  52. Karen Goodwin Delaney follows Faith’s Kitchen on Facebook

  53. My favorite spring food is ramps, closely followed by fiddleheads

  54. I love when strawberries and all the spring herbs start to come into season!

  55. One of my most used and favorite kitchen tools is my Cuisinart mini food processor.

  56. I like Bloomingdale’s on Facebook.

  57. I like Sub-Zero and Wolf on Facebook.

  58. I am following An Edible Mosaic on Facebook.

  59. Strawberries are my favorite spring food.

  60. Kathy Nordmann says:

    My most-used kitchen tool is my Cuisinart food processor!

  61. Kathy Nordmann says:

    Asparagus and strawberries for sure!
    “Liked” all 3 on Facebook!

  62. Big big fan of leeks! Love them in my soups because they are a little heartier and they have great flavor. Sumac is not something I am familiar with so I am looking forward to this recipe!

  63. Rhubarb!

    Also- where do you find sumac? Wegmans?

    1. Lara, My mother-in-law sends me sumac from Jordan. I know it’s available at Penzeys (which also has online ordering), and it’s available from Amazon as well. I’ve seen sumac in local Middle Eastern grocery stores, and specialty spice shops might also carry it. I hope this helps!

  64. I have yet to try fiddlehead ferns. For whatever reason I always think of them as a plant and not a vegetable and simply can’t get myself to try them. Like one you have hanging and need to water… call me crazy!
    I must try them and you have inspired.
    I’m with you on getting the smaller, sweeter frozen peas, too. This dish is just screaming Spring and it’s absolutely lovely. Beautiful photos and styling.

  65. I liked sub zero and wolf

  66. I liked an edible Mosaic

  67. My most used kitchen tool is my lemon squeezer

  68. I like the stone fruits

  69. This dish looks so gorgeous- Vibrant and bursting with flavor! My favorite spring food is the humble fava bean. I’m already thinking about swapping these peas out for fresh favas!

  70. I guess my my most used kitchen tool is my chef’s knife. Can’t live without it.

  71. Oh man… tough question. I’m going to go with strawberries. Fresh picked during a trek to a strawberry farm we go to every spring. Mmmm-mmm. :)

  72. i LOVE leeks! i tried them for the first time LAST WEEK, i’m slightly ashamed to admit, but i loved every bite.

  73. My favorite spring food would definitely be asparagus.

  74. It is so hard to wait for some seasonal produce that is only available for a short time. I am already counting down to peaches here in Georgia. In the meantime, I am happy to enjoy this delicious saute. We love using sumac. This sounds like a delicious and easy side dish.

  75. Spring time brings with it all it’s fresh green veggies and I adore them all! Especially when they come together so well in a sauteed salad like this!

  76. Erin Ellis says:

    I like Bloomingdale’s on Facebook (Erin Ellis)
    Erin
    ErinLoves2Run at gmail dot com

  77. Erin Ellis says:

    I like Wolf on Facebook (Erin Ellis)
    Erin
    ErinLoves2Run at gmail dot com

  78. Erin Ellis says:

    I like you on Facebook (Erin Ellis)
    Erin
    ErinLoves2Run at gmail dot com

  79. Erin Ellis says:

    My most used kitchen tool is my Kitchenaid Mixer.
    Erin
    ErinLoves2Run at gmail dot com

  80. Erin Ellis says:

    My favorite spring food is my pasta recipe that has light veggies like zucchini, squash, and tomato. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
    Erin
    ErinLoves2Run at gmail dot com

  81. This sounds delicious! Waiting for seasonal fruits and vegetables to come in can absolutely be torture!

  82. I shared on Facebook, but it wouldn’t let me tag “Wolf Gourmet.”

  83. I liked Bloomingdale’s on Facebook.

  84. I liked Sub-Zero and Wolf on Facebook.

  85. I liked An Edible Mosaic on Facebook.

  86. My favorite spring food is Fennel. I’m so looking forward to eating lots of it this year.

  87. This totally screams Spring!! Love the sumac in there too!

  88. Lisa Brown says:

    Liked Like An Edible Mosaic on Facebook as Lisa Brown

  89. Lisa Brown says:

    My favorite spring food are Frittatas. Thanks for the chance :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  90. A delicious combination! Spring in a plate.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  91. I really like this simple recipe for leeks. Thank you.

  92. I “Liked” Bloomingdale’s on Facebook.

  93. I “Liked” Sub-Zero and Wolf on Facebook.

  94. I “liked” an Edible Mosaic on Facebook.

  95. My most used tool in the kitchen is an 8 inch skillet.

  96. I love all the Spring vegetables like asparagus and strawberries.

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