Some of us were forced to eat the peas off our plates during childhood, but these days we don't need much coaxing. For those who adore them, peas take the crowning glory of the spring season. (For those who still don't like peas, we encourage you to give them a second try.) With their naturally sweet flavor, peas can enhance pretty much any dish, and they're versatile too: Our recipe slideshow offers up pastas, soups, side dishes and more -- all featuring peas.
All of our recipes use shell peas (a.k.a. English peas), but if you're in a pinch you could substitute frozen peas. For recipes that call for baby peas or raw peas, you'll want to look for pea pods that are small and tender so the peas aren't stringy or fibrous. In many supermarkets you can now buy containers of shelled peas, but for the best freshness we recommend buying pea pods you shell yourself.