Spring salads are especially nice, the new season, yearning for fresh greens in the dark of winter. Yeah. Here we are.
My Garden Sweet Pea Pod Salad
This is a salad from our garden last year. It was the first year we grew peas. We got four containers labeled "sweet snap peas". Well, 2 were and 2 were snow peas. It was a gooooodddd thing! I had so much fun using the snow peas in things and the snap peas produced and produced for a long time. Both were in containers and did really well.
Serves about 4
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
3 T extra virgin olive oil
a mix of fresh herbs like mint, parsley & basil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Whisk together until emulsified and set aside for flavors to meld for at least 20 minutes.
2 C sugar snap pea pods
1/4 C basil leaves
1 large or 2 small bunches baby spinach leaves
1 small cucumber (I used a seedless variety)
1/2 C nasturtium leaves
Wash the salad ingredients, drain and dry. Thinly slice cucumber and radishes, tear spinach, nasturtiums and basil leaves. Leave snap peas whole. Add dressing and toss gently. Serve immediately with toppings.
greek yogurt topped with lemon zest
Asian-ish Snap Pea Salad
My Sweetie came home with a bag of snap peas the other day. Ours are growing but not producing yet. This is what I came up with. I've become enamored with Japanese pure sesame oil lately. It is a milder flavor than toasted sesame oil like Yeo's which is from Singapore and more South East Asian.
Serves 2 as a side
1 C snap peas
1/4 an orange bell pepper, seeded
2 T shallot
1 T orange zest
1 tsp black sesame seeds
2 T Japanese pure sesame oil (I like Kadoya or Shiakiku brands)
1 T fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 tsp or to taste fish sauce (I use Red Boat)
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp demerera sugar
Whisk dressing ingredients, let sit for about 15 minutes, taste. Adjust the dressing to your liking.
Wash and dry the snap peas and bell pepper. Top and tail the snap peas. Sliver the bell pepper and then halve. Slice the shallot thinly and cut across and separate the slivers. Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl, add the orange zest, black sesame seeds and dressing and toss well to coat everything. Let sit for about 5 minutes and serve.
Taste your snap peas if you buy them to see if they are fresh and tender. If they are not tender, you can plunge them into boiling water for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, drain and plunge into ice water for about 5 minutes and drain and dry before using.
Green Pea Salad with Radishes and Feta Cheese
I used up things in the garden last year and now I can make this year round if arugula is available at a good price. Or not! See at the end.
Serves 4 as a side dish
2 cups frozen peas, defrosted in a strainer or if you are lucky, fresh peas
4 - 8 large spicy radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup arugula
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill (I used dried dill from my local herbalist)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (I use Trader Joe's)
juice of 1 large lime or 2 small limes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
lime zest (optional)
fresh mint (optional)
Carefully toss together peas, radishes, arugula, dill and feta. Whisk lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper into an emulsion and dress the salad. Serve immediately.
With the lime shortage this spring, I switched to fresh lemon juice and I didn't have any arugula from my garden yet, so, I added some of my preserved lemons that lurk in my fridge, finely slivered for a little spicy kick. So easy to make and so good!
Russian Salad Olivier a la Scotia
A salad I found from a Russian woman from Dallas. I made it mine and my Russian speaking Sweetie's!
Makes 6-8 side servings
2 lbs. German Yellow or Yellow Fin or Yukon Gold or lastly, Russet potatoes (use medium not really large potatoes)
2 hard boiled eggs, diced
1/2 C red onion, diced
1/2 C fresh carrot, diced
1/2 C fresh or frozen green peas
1/4-1/3 C mixture of capers and cornichons, drained and diced
1/2 C mixture of mayonnaise (I use Trader Joe's sugarless mayo) and tart goat's milk yogurt (also TJ's)
freshly ground black pepper
Italian white wine vinegar and/or white balsamic vinegar or some lemon juice to taste
salt to taste at the very last
Wash, peel* and quarter the potatoes and boil in slightly salted water until a fork comes out easily after inserting in the middle of a quarter. They need to be still firm but not too firm. Take out of the water to drain and cool. Then dice in about 1/3"-1/2" pieces. The diced potatoes, eggs, onion, carrots, peas, capers and cornichons need to all be about the same size…just the size of the peas.
Place the diced carrot in a strainer and dunk in the hot potato water until slightly cooked. They need to be firm but not raw. Drain well. If using frozen peas, dunk in a strainer for 1-2 minutes and then run under very cold water. Drain well.
In a large bowl, mix the mayo, yogurt, vinegars and pepper (add a little cornichon and or caper juice to give it some bite) until it suits you. Gently fold in all the other ingredients until well mixed and place in a covered container for a couple of hours or overnight. Add the salt, if needed (I didn't have too). It gets better with age and can last for a week if you can keep from eating it!
*To peel or not to peel, that is the question! I usually don't peel potatoes for any recipe, but, in this one, peeling is the way to go. The potatoes mix easier in with the other ingredients, break down a little, absorb the dressing flavors and mellow out.
MARINATED VEGETABLE SALAD
This is a recipe card that was my Mother's. It is probably from the 1960-70's. This is from one of her very good friends. I thought you all might like looking at a salad from the past.
Not sure how many this serves...maybe 6-8
1 can French Style Green Beans
1 can Le Sueur Peas
1 can White Shoe Peg Corn
1 jar Pimentos (probably in oil)
1 cup celery
1 cup bell peppers (what color? Your choice)
1/2 cup onions
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup salad oil
1 Tablespoon water
Pour over drained mixed vegetables, celery, bell pepper, and onions which have been mixed together. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Serve cold.
This will keep for 2 weeks if stored in a container with a lid.
What are y'all having on this Saturday night for dinner?