Along with work, training for half marathons and triathlons, taking care of our house, and cooking, we also have a relatively large garden. We’ve been eating salads out of that garden for about a month, but despite the fact that our pea vines grew to nearly four feet tall, we sort of forgot about them until all of a sudden we had so many peas there was no way we could eat them all. Unfortunately, when spring peas are left on the vine, they have a tendency to grow large and tough. At that point you’ve got three options. First, you could compost them. But that seems like such a waste when they still taste sweet. Second, you could suffer through eating them lightly stir-fried or steamed, but I can’t say that’s appealing either. I prefer the third option – slice them thinly, on the bias, and toss them with shaved fennel, walnuts, and a light dressing.
This salad was so good that we had seconds and thirds the first night we made it. We’ve since made an even bigger batch for lunches and I think this will be our go-to pea recipe for the rest of the year.
- 8 oz spring peas
- 1 fennel bulb, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Pinch of sugar, teaspoon of honey, or agave nectar
- Salt to taste
- Wash the peas and slice them thinly on the bias (see photo below).
- Mix the red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and sugar in a separate bowl.
- In a large salad bowl, mix the fennel, peas, and walnuts.
- Toss with half of the dressing, season with salt, and taste to determine whether you need more dressing. Add additional if necessary.
Notes: We only used about half of the dressing, and the salad was still delicious. I always prefer to go lighter on the dressing to begin with and then add more to taste. I suspect this salad would also be good with some dried currants or raisins if you wanted a bit more color. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and grain free, you can assemble the salad (sans dressing) hours in advance and dress right before serving. If you dress the salad more than an hour or so in advance, the nuts might get a bit soggy, however they will still be edible (and delicious – just not crunchy).
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