Friday, June 1, 2012

Summertime Pea Salad

Nothing symbolizes summer like shelling peas on the porch. There were days growing up that the entire afternoon was spent on the screened porch with massive stainless steel bowls slowly being filled with pink-eyed purple hulls, white acres, or black-eyed peas. The floor was tiled with old newspapers to catch the hulls as they fell empty, one by one. Any leftover time before sundown was spent blanching and freezing enough peas to properly feed us through winter.
A sweet friend, Brooke Stortz, brought me a tremendous bag of shelled and ready to cook lady peas. I blanched a few for later and made a salad for supper. With Vidalia onions in season and real tomatoes now coming off the vines, this colorful salad is the epitome of summertime.

Lady Pea Summer Salad

5 cups shelled fresh lady peas
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 small Vidalia onion, diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Bring 7 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt.  Add peas and cook for about 35 minutes, or until tender. Drain and cool. Transfer peas to a large mixing bowl. Stir in tomato, onion, and basil.
Whisk olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard together in a small measuring cup. Pour over peas and stir well. Allow salad to sit for 15 before serving.

Serves 4

NOTE: Salad can be made one day in advance. Add basil before serving.

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