Peas are the star of this delightful spring salad, but the Meyer Lemon and Ginger Vinaigrette is one you’ll surely use again!
A large salad can really set the tone for a holiday meal, especially if it is one that is a little different and makes its own statement of the season. Spring salads can be a centerpiece for your table, so many possibilities! This one makes a splash, and is completed in the time it takes for the water to boil to blanch the peas!
So many peas from which to choose!
For this salad, I decided to celebrate peas in all their lovely forms – snow peas, sugar snap peas (use one or both, all parts edible), plus shelled peas, and the tender and delicious pea sprouts. This is a real mess of peas!
I’m not sure about other areas of the country, but we can find pea shoots all winter and spring from our greenhouses here in the north. They are such a welcome addition to the winter offerings from our local farmers, a taste of spring even when snow is on the ground. If you can’t find them, you can substitute another favorite sprout such as sunflower.
A versatile vinaigrette
The vinaigrette combines the wonderful seasonal Meyer lemons that have been so fat and juicy this year, along with vibrant fresh ginger. Always such good companions in anything! It is creamy and tangy, and we used the leftovers the next night on plain roasted potatoes. Divine! If you can’t find Meyers, substitute another lemon.
The garnishes are important
A final topping of scallions and fresh mint are not just decoration, both are essential to this salad. My mint has not appeared in my garden yet, so I had to buy some, which always annoys me because most of the growing season it is almost a weed it grows so prolifically! Who doesn’t love mint with peas! And the mint combines beautifully with the lemon and ginger.
Quick, easy, and makes a statement
If you are short of time, as we often are during the holidays, take a few minutes the day before to blanch all the ingredients and make the vinaigrette. Then, this lovely salad can be made the day-of in about five minutes! The fun part, making it beautiful on a platter.
Happy Holidays and Happy Spring to all!
Spring Salad of Three Peas with Meyer Lemon & Ginger Vinaigrette
- Zest of 1 meaty Meyer lemon
- Juice of same Meyer lemon, about 3 tbsp.
- 1-inch knob fresh ginger, grated on microplane
- 1 clove garlic, grated on microplane
- 1 small shallot, finely minced
- 1 tsp. French mustard (I used my favorite Maille)
- 2 tbsp. champagne or white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
- S&P to taste
- Bunch of baby arugula
- 8 oz. snow peas, trimmed and blanched
- 8 oz. sugar snaps, trimmed and blanched
- 1 cup fresh peas, blanched, or thawed frozen
- 1 bunch pea shoots
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced on diagonal
- 10 fresh mint leaves, chiffonade or minced
- S&P to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add a teaspoon of salt.
While the water is coming to a boil, trim your snow and sugar snap peas. Break the tip of the pea and pull the string out along the inward curve. If the peas are really small, you might not need to do this. If they are really large, you will probably have to do this on both sides, but never fear, it really doesn’t take long.
Make the dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake like crazy, or use your mini food processor or blender if you like. Taste for seasoning using a snow pea.
Once the water is boiling, drop in the snow peas and let them cook for about a minute and a half. Remove at once with a slotted spoon or spider to a colander, and run under cold water. You can also plunge the colander in ice water if you find it easier. Let them drain, then place on a baking sheet to wait their turn.
Drop the sugar snaps in the same water and let cook for about three minutes, or until tender and bright green. Remove, chill down, and drain as above and set aside to keep the others company. Lightly salt.
If you are using fresh peas, pop those in the water next and cook for a few minutes, until bright green and tender, etc. It’s quite a production line, but goes very quickly.
Now, you might be tempted to toss away this blanching water, but give it a taste! If you are using fresh peas, add the pods to the blanching liquid and let boil for about five minutes or so. You might be surprised at how much flavor, so if you are planning to make soup or even rice later in the week, pour what you might need into a container to save for then. A little bonus from your kitchen scraps.
Arrange the arugula on a pretty platter, lightly salt it, and top with the pods, then sprinkle with the fresh peas. Add the pea shoots any way you like. Scatter the scallions and mint over all, and serve with the vinaigrette. If you have any pea flowers, pansies, or other edible spring flowers, decorate! I didn’t have any this week, but it was still beautiful! Season with a bit more salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Use your imagination! Serve this as is, or add other spring touches to the platter, perhaps some soft-boiled eggs, spring radishes, colorful carrot curls, or grilled lemon slices.
P.S. This is free of nuts, gluten, dairy, seeds, soy, and is vegan. Full of fiber, it’s a diabetic’s dream, and heart healthy as well. Thus, you can probably serve this to everyone!
Dress them up any way you like, using what’s best in the season.
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