Thursday, August 13, 2009

Good Old Pea Salad

This recipe has been around for decades, almost everyone seems to like it and you can vary it to suit your own preferences.

Lately I've been cutting the fat/calories in old favorites so I substitute low or non-fat sour cream or plain yogurt in the dressing. I like the simple version of this but I've listed optional ingredients below the recipe ~

Quick Pea Salad
(I usually reduce the recipe by half if I'm just serving our small family)

3 cups fresh green peas or 2 (10oz) pkgs frozen, thawed (I always use petite frozen peas ~ they are more tender.)
several stalks crisp celery, thinly sliced
sliced water chestnuts (I use the entire can, drained for half the recipe because we love the crunch)
1 /2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper. to taste
mint or fresh dill, as desired
2 or 3 green onions, thinly sliced (green and white portions) ~ optional

I never use fresh peas in this recipe... Place frozen peas in colander and rinse with cold water; drain well (it's okay if they are still somewhat frozen if you are making this ahead as they will thaw in the refrigerator in no time as the salad sits.)

Combine dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl, fold in peas and other ingredients you choose to use, then cover refrigerate until ready to serve. If using bacon, I sprinkle it on top right before serving so it stays crisp.

Serve on lettuce leaves.

Options & substitutions:

Can use Buttermilk Ranch dressing instead of the sour cream/mayo combination
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
4 to 5 slices crisply cooked bacon; crumbled
1/2 to 1 cup grated carrot
1 cup (or more) diced ham
1 cup (or more) diced chicken
1 cup (or more) chilled salad (Bay) shrimp, or other small shrimp
Fresh mint or dill (can used dried dill) to taste
Can omit mayo and use all sour cream
teaspoon of Dijon mustard
a pinch, up to a teaspoon of sugar (I never add this)

Recently I made the basic pea salad and I served it with Kate's Sweet Mustard Shrimp (click) it's a really good combination together!

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