04/15/2012 11:11 am ET Updated Jun 01, 2012

Garden Pea Recipes: Classic Vs. Creative

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?