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Pantry Basics

Give Peas a Chance
June 14, 2012 • Posted by Jean at Delightful Repast

The old adage “good things are worth waiting for” is especially true when it comes to seasonal produce. The first peas of the season are all the sweeter for those who’ve spurned the out-of-season imports. And sitting outdoors shelling peas is one of the more enjoyable “mindless activities” at this time of year.

Whether you grow your own peas or buy them fresh, they are a special treat to be enjoyed for a brief season. Fortunately, frozen peas are the one frozen vegetable that can truly be said to rival fresh in many dishes. And pea salad is definitely one of those dishes!

There are as many pea salad recipes as there are women of English descent; most call for a mayonnaise dressing—this one, a vinaigrette. It can be made any time of year with 16 ounces of uncooked frozen peas. If using fresh peas, you will need 3 pounds of pods to get 3 cups of peas. Rinse the pods, shell the peas, then steam them for 5 to 10 minutes or just until tender.

Marinated Green Pea Salad
Makes 6 side servings or 2 main dish servings

3 cups steamed fresh green peas or 16 ounces uncooked frozen peas
5 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly-sliced celery
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup of your favorite vinaigrette
6 leaves butter lettuce
3 small ripe red tomatoes, cut into 6 wedges each

  1. In 2-quart bowl, combine peas, onions, celery, bell pepper and vinaigrette. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 8 hours, stirring a few times.
  2. To serve, place a lettuce leaf on each of six chilled salad plates. Top with marinated pea salad, using a slotted spoon. Garnish each salad with three tomato wedges. If really good tomatoes are not to be found, garnish with strips of red bell pepper.

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