Before Spring passes us by, I must pass on this fabulous recipe for pea salad. I’ve always loved peas; whether it was the tiny LeSueur peas that came out of a can that my mom bought us as kids, or the green peas that came in the Swanson TV dinners. The only time I haven’t liked peas is when the 4th grade boys used to shoot them across the cafeteria tables at the new chest ornaments adorning females of the same age. No, that was not fun; though they thought it was hilarious.
I used to love growing peas in the garden. Those peas never made it to the dinner table though. They were always scarfed down straight from the vine; the best way to eat peas in my opinion. In my informative years fresh peas were hard to find, eating them involved opening the said can or breaking open the frozen little square boxes. Truly there is nothing wrong with the little square boxes. I actually always keep a box in my freezer for use in adding to fried rice or Chicken Vesuvio or this Greek 15 minute shrimp dish with feta. Peas are a great way to add color and texture to any dish.
Recently I discovered that Trader Joes has fresh shelled peas in their produce section. I bought a bag and some fresh English Sugar peas as well. Upon coming home and discovering a mango needing a home, a little light bulb went off in my head and this salad was born. I made it to accompany crab cakes, but this salad could easily become a main course with the addition of some goat cheese or even a burrata. I must make it again just so I can do THAT! I love burrata maybe more than peas. Maybe more than chocolate, too. But this post is about peas.
And this post is about mint. (Got that Seyma?) I have a lot of mint growing in the garden and I love using it. This salad is a perfect receptacle for fresh green mint. Now I know some of you may not like mint, but I bet you still love those Peppermint Patties. And if you don’t, well, I don’t know you! Need a low cal peppermint patty? Just dip those leaves into melted chocolate and let them cool, and you have a great treat with little effort. My problem right now is keeping my garlic chives from taking over my mint!
This post is also about watercress. I love the peppery taste of watercress and it is also another green that shouts Spring to me! Combine the watercress with peas and mint and the sweetness of mango-oh my-and you have a salad that is happy. Well, if there is such thing as a happy salad. But I forgot to tell you about the dressing. I’ve used the dressing before on this cabbage salad. This dressing sings! Well, it doesn’t really sing. But it will have you singing and figuring out all the ways you can use it. Yes, this salad is the perfect way to celebrate Spring and say hello summer!
Pea, Mango and Mint Salad
Time to Make: About 20 minutes
8 oz fresh green peas, such as Sugar Snaps, English Peas or even Snow Peas
10 oz shelled peas (If using frozen, just thaw them according to package directions_
2-4 T fresh chopped mint
A couple big handfuls of watercress (optional)
1 Mango, sliced real pretty like
1/2 c chopped red onion
Optional: Buratta or goat cheese
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
3 T maple syrup
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
1 minced garlic clove
1/4 t kosher salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. To make dressing combine all dressing ingredients in a small jar. Shake to combine. Toss about 1/2 of dressing with pea salad about 30 minutes before serving. You will have some left over. But that’s OK. You can use it on another salad!