Before getting the allotment, this year I planted some peas in the garden which are now just about ready to eat in my summer salad of fresh peas. Peas were a surprise hit last year with all 3 children, so they were top of the list when shopping for seeds back in April. I think they mainly loved popping them out of their pods, which is a most satifsying job. It’s a bit like shelling monkey nuts or pistachios, once you pop you can’t stop! Highly addictive, but actually good for you!
As one of the best frozen vegetables there are, peas would always be on my list of food essentials. Even though medium girl loves hers slathered with salad cream or mayo, I still think they must have some nutritional benefit and at least they are getting eaten- a step in the right direction anyway.
The difference, for me between frozen and freshly picked is subtle. There is a sweetness, almost like a sweetie sweetness, to a freshly picked pea. Hence why they are popular with the children in my house. Having said that, like all freshly picked vegetables, you have to catch them in the nick of time or else they turn starchy and mealy.
I must admit that this recipe for a great use of peas is not tailored to suit the children, but that’s mainly because if they are happy eating their peas raw, that’s one less job for me. I have taken that tack often when serving them veggies. So carrots, cucmber and peppers will often be served in crudite form on a separate plate looking colourful and tempting. They do get eaten, often first, while they wait for their hot food to cool down. They love it even more if served with a bowl of oil and vinegar to dip them in which was a favourite of mine when I was little along with oil, vinegar and salt sandwiches! Odd I know!
This salad combines lots of flavours that work well together. I am a massive salad fan, particularly at this time of the year and this is my own summer creation…….
A summer salad of fresh peas, pancetta & avocado
A seasonal fresh tasting summer salad with a Caesar style dressing
- 1/2 iceberg lettuce torn into pieces
- 2 slices pancetta
- 1 ripe avocado sliced
- 100g freshly podded peas blanched
- 25 g Parmesan grated
For the dressing:
- 1/2 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp Parmesan grated
- salt & pepper
- 1 tbsp dill to garnish (optional)
For the dressing:
- In a bowl or plastic jug, mix together all of the salad dressing ingredients with a fork or a mini whisk. Check the seasoning. Set aside while you make the salad
For the salad:
- Put a pan of water on to boil for the peas
- While you are waiting for the water to boil, pod your peas. You could substiute a large handful of frozen peas if you prefer
- When the water has come to the boil, blanch the peas for no more than a couple of minutes. Refresh in cold water
- Fry the pancetta in a pan and add in the chopped garlic about half way through cooking it, so that it doesn't colour too much
- To bring the salad together, get a salad bowl or large plate and tear in the iceberg lettuce. Add the peas. Add the sliced avocado. Place the pancetta on the top of the salad. Drizzle or pour over your dressing