Peas never taste quite as good as they do when they first come into season and my family and I stand around the kitchen countering shelling and eating them as quickly as we can, savoring every pea-sweet bite. Serve that same great taste, with a bit of augmentation, if you like, to guests with this appetizer idea.
1. Carefully open the pea pods so the halves are left more or less intact and the peas stay to one side. Don't worry if some peas stay attached to the other half of the pod, just pull them out and set them in place in the serving half.
2. Lay peas in their pod halves, arranging them in a row if necessary. Again, after a few pods you'll get the hang of getting them to just stay in place the first time around.
3. Arrange pods on a plate or servings platter in a pleasing way. I find not-too-neat rows an attractive option, but everyone is going to find their own favorite arrangement (it occurs to me that you could even spell something out if you were so inclined). At this point, you can serve them as-is or....
4. Drizzle with oil, if you like. A fruity extra virgin olive oil is a good choice, as is a mild nut oil like pistachio, pine nut, or almond. Walnut oil would overwhelm the peas, so is best kept for another use.
5. Sprinkle with salt to taste, if you like. A clean-tasting fleur de sel is nice here, or simple sea salt is good too.
6. Serve to acclaim or at least to delight.