(photo credit: bonnieplants.com)
It’s Spring and things are green, literally. This is a green blog, green things are growing, Easter is almost upon us. What better way to celebrate all things healthy and green than with a recipe showcasing fresh peas, which are at the peak of their season.
We like peas. Peas are green, peas are good for you and peas are tasty. Peas are packed with anti-cancer phytonutrients that also provide key anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Peas have a low glycemic index coupled with a high fiber and protein content which, combined with their phytonutrients, makes the benefits of eating peas far-reaching. Peas are also beneficial to the soil in which they are grown. They are considered a “nitrogen fixing” crop, taking in nitrogen from the air and with the help of bacteria in the soil, converting it into more usable forms, thus increasing essential nitrogen levels in the soil and eliminating the need for fertilizers. Now, back to the “peas are tasty” part.
This fresh pea salad showcases them in their freshest form, with lemon brightening up the flavor and heirloom carrots adding a pop of color. I’ve set forth this recipe in a less structured manner, so that you can adjust it to whatever number guests you have. As it is currently, the recipe will serve 2 people.
For this recipe, you’ll need the following:
A handful of pea tendrils (or pea shoots) if you can get them. If you’re looking, don’t go to Whole Foods in El Segundo, they’re not there.
1 lb fresh, organic garden peas in the pod
2 organic heirloom carrots (grated)
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 springs of mint, (about 10 leaves), julienned
Remove the peas from their pods, rinse and set aside. Rinse and julienne mint leaves. Rinse and grate carrots.
Make vinaigrette – zest the lemon (be careful to only scrape off the top layer, the white part of the rind is very sour), mix the zest with juice of 1/2 the lemon, salt and pepper to taste. Emulsify with olive oil.
Mix the peas, (pea shoots if you’ve got ‘em), carrots, mint and feta cheese in a bowl, dress with vinaigrette and serve.
Not only is this fresh pea salad incredibly tasty, but it will leave you energized and better looking. (Just kidding about the better looking thing, you’re perfect as you are.) If you eat meat, this will be a refreshing compliment to your Easter rack of lamb. Have a great weekend everyone!