Fresh peas and sweet ruby red strawberries from the garden are two of those signs that summer has arrived.   Chef Annie Mahle spends her summers not only in her garden but also on the schooner J. & E. Riggin cooking for guests. She and her husband share the captain duties on the Riggin. 

J. & E. Riggin  Photo Credit--Elizabeth Poisson
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J. & E. Riggin
Photo Credit–Elizabeth Poisson

Chef Annie says, “All parts of the pea plant, like many vegetables, are edible.  The shoots, the pods and then the seeds all have a slightly different taste, but all are redolent of bright, sweet, somewhat
nutty and lemony peas.”

“Whether eaten straight from the garden, fresh in a drink, or in a salad or a dessert, or baked as in pound cake, strawberries are one of those quintessential fruits that herald the true beginning of summer,” said Chef Annie Mahle. “They don’t lie, they’ll only burst with color and flavor when the weather  turns warm and sunny.  And what a  beautiful treat they are.”

Chef Annie
Mahle has echoed all of those same flavors from peas and strawberries in the  recipes below.

Mahle’s latest cookbook, Sugar & Salt: A Year at Home and at Sea, a collection of recipes, along with crafts, thoughts and stories from her hilarious, sometimes frenetic life aboard her schooner off
the coast of Maine, is available in local Maine shops and directly online at
For more information on the cruises offered on the J. & E. Riggin, visit




Snap Pea, Almond and Feta Salad
8 ounces snap peas; about 2 to 3 cups

1/4 cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped

2 ounces crumbled feta cheese; less than 1/4 cup

3 ounces baby greens or mesclun mix; about 4 cups
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Pinch or two of salt

Several grinds of fresh black pepper


Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the snap peas for 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from water immediately and submerse in very cold water until chilled.  Drain well.  With your hands, gently combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Lemony Peas, Pea Shoots and Tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup sliced onions

2 cups fresh peas

3 ounces pea shoots; about 3 cups

3 ounces baby spinach; about 3 cups

1 cup diced tomatoes

Several pinches of salt


Several grinds of fresh black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon zest; zest from one lemon

3 tablespoons lemon juice; juice from 1/2 a lemon


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Heat the extra virgin olive oil and add the onions.  When the onions are just beginning to turn translucent, about 7 minutes, add the fresh peas.  Sauté for another 2 minutes and add the rest
of the ingredients except the lemon juice.
Turn gently but quickly with tongs for 1 minute or so or until the greens begin to wilt, but are still a little fluffy.  Add the lemon juice and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Strawberry, Walnut and Kale Salad

Strawberries Photo by Elizabeth Poisson

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pound baby kale, rinsed and dried

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced strawberries

1 cup walnuts

Rub the kale with olive oil and salt and pepper.
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and toss.
Sprinkle with strawberries and walnuts and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Strawberry, Black Pepper and Orange Pound Cake       


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup  milk

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters


3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease one loaf pan.  Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with sugar.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing well each time.

Add the orange zest and black pepper.
Mix the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk (about one third at a time), into the sugar/egg mixture.  Be
sure to add the dry ingredients last.
Fold in the strawberries and spoon into the pan.  Bake 1 hour 15 minutes, until the bread springs back when lightly pressed in the center.  Leave in the pan.  When the bread is out of the oven bring the
glaze ingredients to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Pierce the top of the hot loaf several times with a toothpick and pour the orange mixture over the loaf.  Cool completely, and remove from the pan.

Makes 1 loaf


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