Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Pea Salad with Spring Vegetables

I have been wanting to make a fresh spring salad centered around peas for a while now.  I just adore peas and I think they go great in almost everything. Surprisingly enough, we have someone in our house who doesn't like peas so much, so we don't eat them as often as I would like. 

For those of you planting gardens your peas will be on this month and you are in for a real treat! We don't have a garden so we are going to be watching for ours at the farmer's market.  In the mean time, I used a bag of frozen peas for this salad. 

The asparagus is still in the last bit of season, so you should be able to get really great spears for not a lot of money. 

half a pound of fresh asparagus spears
1 ½ cups green peas, hulled
1 whole ripe but firm avocado, thinly sliced
1 bunch radishes (I used breakfast radishes)
1 shallot, minced finely
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
3 tablespoons sesame oil
kosher salt to taste
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

This was the first bunch of radishes that I have purchased in a while. I think they are too spicey and "woody" tasting when you get them out of season. But these were amazing! Just the right amount of crunch of peppery flavor. Radishes are another one of the first crops that you local gardeners will be harvesting. 

Slice each asparagus and set aside.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 1-2 minutes until just tender. Use a slotted spoon or spider and pull the asparagus out and dump into a strainer. Rinse with cold water and drain. Set aside.

Dump the peas in and boil for 1 minute and then drain, rinse and drain again. Set aside.
Thinly slice the radishes and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the shallots, rice wine vinegar, honey and sesame oil. Season to taste with kosher salt.

Add the asparagus, peas and radishes and toss together. Season again with kosher salt and toss in the sesame seeds.

On the serving platter or shallow bowl, line the edges of the bowl with the thinly sliced avocado. Sprinkle them with kosher salt.

Pour the salad over the avocado slices and garnish with fresh chives or chive blossoms if you have them.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

The colors in this salad are especially amazing and it is almost as lovely to look at as it is to eat. 

 Instead of slicing the avocados and lining the serving platter with them, I chopped them up really chunky and stirred them in the very last second before serving.

This is a great recipe for using those first spring veggies that come out of the garden. The flavors blend really well together and it is different and refreshing. It will be sure to become one of your favorites to not only eat but to share with your family and friends.