Trend-Alert: Mushy Peas Take Seattle

By Leslie Kelly  |  July 14, 2014
Credit: Leslie Kelly

Have you noticed? Mushy peas, the classic British import, have been getting a fresh Northwest update around Seattle. We've recently spotted this bright green side dish on a few menus, including Chippy's, Nosh food truck and Mulleady's Pub. Here's a breakdown.

The details: Due in large part to the urging of an unnamed "Scottish chef," Ethan Stowell has had mushy peas on the menu at his fish 'n' chips joint, Chippy's, since it opened in May. "I fully expected they'd only be on there a month or so but they've been a big hit," he said. The classic version is canned peas cooked until they're mushy and brown. But the Stowell crew came up with a fresh approach, using shallots and butter and a whole lot of mint. Half the peas are pureed, the other half left whole, so the warm side has a texture that pops. Meanwhile, aboard the Nosh truck, Harvey Wolff follows a similar recipe but adds acid to tame the pea's tendency to come across too rich. He also serves them cold. "This preparation adds contrast and freshness and cuts through any remaining fat left on the fish and chips," he said. Mulleady's takes a modernized approach, serving them smeared on toast with mascarpone cheese and honey.

Why we love it: Mushy peas provide a welcome levity to ultra-rich battered fish — like slaw served alongside fried chicken or cranberries with turkey. Chippy's version is sweet and creamy, while the chopped, fresh mint gives it a brightness that compels you to keep sticking your spoon in the bowl.

The verdict: It might be too early to call it a trend, but here's hoping this preparations catches on, because it's bloody good. We can imagine it as an amazing compliment to salmon, grilled chicken — even pork chops.