In the camp of green and good for you, English peas are rarely the vegetable of choice. Their reputation as a mushy, gray-hued side dish is longstanding, and could be the reason why they're so easily overshadowed by less nutritious fare.

Last year Michelle Obama even made a plea for the pea -- a decent source of vitamin A, niacin and fiber -- trying to persuade a group of Louisiana preschoolers to eat more by telling them that green peas are a presidential fave.

But the garden vegetable isn't an entirely forsaken cause. It's all a matter of how it's prepared and making sure you get them fresh and at their peak.

Look for fresh peas with plump, unblemished, bright green pods, during the months of March, April and May. (They peak again from August to November.) Inside, the peas should be glossy, crunchy and sweet. Refrigerate them in their pods, in a plastic bag, for no more than two to three days, and shell them just before you cook.

Here, two co-hosts of ABC's "The Chew" give green peas a moment to shine. One, alongside carrots in a buttery, lemony sauce (the modern classic); the other, sauted with gnocchi and fragrant morels (creative genius).

Classic or creative? Which recipe gets your vote?

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CLASSIC: Carla Hall's Peas & Carrots
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2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
7 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced (about 3 cups)
1 large shallot, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup water
1 pound fresh English peas, hulled and blanched in salted water (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.

2. Once butter foams, add carrots and shallots, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are translucent and soft, about 10 minutes.
Add water and continue to cook until liquid evaporates and carrots are tender, about 5 to 6 minutes.

3. Add peas and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in tarragon and lemon zest, season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Garnish with cooked peas tossed in lemon zest, lemon oil and tarragon.