Spring Pea Salad with Blood Orange Paprika Vinaigrette

A simple but striking salad!

Peas are delightful in late spring, and if we are missing them too badly, there are always flash frozen peas from last season. These are a staple of my freezer and one of the few vegetables I really enjoy frozen and not just tolerate.

IMG_5561In early spring, the blood oranges make their way to the markets. I love the vibrant color and sweet flavor, and they add a lovely dimension to a vinaigrette. Add what you have on hand to garnish; the day I took this picture, I had some boiled baby white onions in surplus.

10 or 12 ounces fresh or thawed frozen peas

10 or 12 ounces fresh snow peas

1 bunch radishes

1 small cucumber

Fresh chives or parsley to garnish

Blood Orange Vinaigrette, recipe below

If your peas are fresh, bring a pot of water to a boil, salt, and add the peas. Blanch for a minute, then place immediately in iced water. If you are using frozen peas, simply thaw them.

Kitchen tip: I fill a large bowl with cold water, add ice, and place a colander or mesh strainer inside. When you add the peas to this, you can fish them out as soon as they are chilled, and you won’t have to sort through the ice cubes.

Prepare the snow peas by removing any side string. Snap the top back, and pull gently. Blanch in the same was as the fresh peas above.

Slice your radishes and cucumber on a mandolin, or slice very thinly with a sharp kitchen knife.

Arrange on the platter, and top with the vinaigrette.

Blood Orange Paprika Vinaigrette

Zest and juice of one large blood orange

1 tbsp. sherry vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of salt

Few grinds of pepper

1/2 tsp. sweet Hungarian paprika

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake well!

Blood oranges have intense color and flavor and lend themselves nicely to a vinaigrette.