Lady peas are a rare delicacy in supermarkets and farmers' markets, because they are not grown commercially on a wide scale. If you can get ahold of this Southern favorite, you are in luck, because lady peas are small, tender and have a more subtle flavor than the plant's more assertive cousins. Lady peas do not require a long cooking time, because they are always boiled for a short time to preserve their delicate skins. Enjoy your lady peas as a light side or eat them with other peas and lentils in a hearty salad.
Place the lady peas in a colander and rinse them thoroughly to eliminate any dust or debris.
Pour 3 cups of water into the saucepan and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add ½ tsp. salt.
Add the lady peas and cook them, uncovered, for eight to 10 minutes, or until the peas are tender, but not mushy.
Drain the peas into a colander. Serve them hot as a side, or allow them to cool slightly and serve them as part of a pea and lentil salad.
For a Southern twist on your lady peas, boil the peas with ham hocks or bacon to add savory pork flavor to the peas.
To enjoy a savory vegetarian version of the lady peas, add garlic and a quartered onion to the water and boil them with the peas. Remove them before you serve the peas.