At her North Carolina restaurant, chef Ashley Christensen takes snap peas to the next level with a decadent sherry cream sauce.
When she was growing up in rural North Carolina, Ashley Christensen loved to eat creamed tuna on toast, a dish her mother made with frozen peas to stretch the family’s small food budget. “The rich sauce made us feel we were being fed like kings, but secretly from the peasant’s pantry,” she says. At Poole’s Diner, her Raleigh restaurant in a revamped 1950s-era luncheonette, she evokes that childhood favorite by simmering sweet sugar snap peas in a sherry cream sauce. As the seasons change, Christensen swaps in asparagus, brussels sprouts, cauliflower or sweet corn for the peas, but the sauce always stays the same: “I think a cream sauce can make the simple and accessible seem special, even luxurious.” Poole’s Diner, 426 S. McDowell St., Raleigh, NC; ac-restaurants.com/pooles; 919-832-4477.
Get the Recipe: Sugar Snap Peas and Oyster Mushrooms in Sherried Cream