The best green peas you'll ever eat are those from your local farmer's market or, better yet, your own garden, picked and shelled minutes before microwaving.
The great advantage of the microwave is that you needn't drown the peas in water as you must if you cook them on top of the stove.
If you add a nugget of butter to the casserole in which you'll microwave them, you needn't add any water at all (let your calorie-consciousness be your guide). In a closed container, the peas will steam in their own fragrant vapor so that their original goodness is not only preserved but heightened.
Here's a recipe for turning snow pea pods into something special.
You'll get about one cup shelled peas from each pound unshelled peas.
INDONESIAN SNOW PEAS IN PEANUT SAUCE
1 large sweet red pepper, cored, seeded and cut in 2x1/8-inch strips
4 green onions, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 pound snow peas
1 teaspoon minced ginger root
2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Combine red pepper, green onions, garlic and oil in 2-quart casserole at least 9-inches across. Cover with wax paper and microwave on HIGH (100% power) 3 minutes.
Stir, add snow peas and ginger, cover with lid or vented plastic wrap and microwave on HIGH 3 to 4 minutes, stirring at half time, until snow peas are barely tender. Let stand, covered, 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, spoon peanut butter into 1-cup measure, add soy sauce, cover with wax paper and microwave on HIGH 1 minute.
Drain vegetable liquid into sauce, whisk until smooth, pour over vegetables and toss lightly. Makes 4 servings.
Variation: For Warm Snow Pea, Mushroom and Red Pepper Salad With Ginger-Honey Dressing, cook red pepper, green onions and garlic in oil as directed, then toss with 1 cup halved raw button mushrooms. Set aside.
Microwave 1/2 pound snow peas as directed, but without seasoning. Drain and set aside.
Beat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 2 teaspoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon crushed ginger root, 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and dash red pepper flakes in small bowl. Spoon 1/2 dressing over pepper mixture and toss. Pour remaining dressing over peas.
Mound red pepper mixture in center of round platter and arrange peas around pepper mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings.
Note: In ovens of less than 600 watts, increase cooking times about 15%.