Salad and I are like *THIS*. That probably comes at no surprise at this point. What you may not know, though, is that I have an especially soft spot for marinated salads. You know which ones I mean… The ones that fill bowl after bowl at late spring and summer parties. The ones in oil and vinegar or mayonnaise based dressings that become even tastier the day after they’re made. Macaroni salad, potato salad, corn salad, and baby… that pea salad you see in the picture above.
Even when I was a picky kid, peas were always a friendly food at the dinner table. A bowl of peas meant I had something I could dig into with abandon. I always loved the little POP of biting into peas. I love them so much that I’ve even been known to dig into the bag of frozen peas for a fast, cold snack in the dog days of summer.
When I saw my friend Amy’s Pea Salad pop up in my feed reader a couple of weeks ago, it was a no-brainer that I was going to make it. I did. And it was glorious. The next day when I made my second batch (I told you I liked peas), I added a bunch of crispy bacon and upped the cheddar and onion a bit and loved it so much that we polished off the whole batch in a matter of hours. Yes. I’ve done the math. I am completely aware of how many pounds of peas we ate in two days.
I self-imposed a two-day moratorium on pea-salad in the house.
But PEOPLE! (Pea-ple?) It’s spring! And spring means we’re on the go. And pea salad? Well, it’s like hand and glove, Rocky and Bullwinkle, peas and, er, bacon! It just goes together. I haven’t done anything but eat it directly from the tupperware container with a spoon, yet, but I guarantee you couldn’t find a tastier or easier side dish for just about any grilled, roasted, or broiled meat or fish.
The sweet POP of the pea, creamy mayonnaise dressing, crunchy mild red onion, and crispy bacon taste great right after being stirred together, but they taste even better after having sat in the refrigerator for a day, making this an IDEAL side dish to serve with an Easter Ham. Easy peasy, my pea-ple!
- I prefer to use frozen peas that have thawed overnight in the refrigerator. I prefer the texture and flavour of them over canned peas. If you have fresh peas, blanch them as you would to freeze them and use them after they’ve chilled.
- We served scoops of this on top of salad the other day and loved it. Bonus: No dressing necessary.
- This can be served immediately after stirring it together, but tastes even better if allowed to sit, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for an hour or up to three days. It should be eaten within 3 days of being made, which is NOT a problem. Trust me.
- 1 pound of bacon, cooked according to package instructions, drained and crumbled or finely chopped
- 2 pounds frozen peas, thawed in the refrigerator overnight
- ¾ cup coarsely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- ½ small red onion, peeled, and finely chopped
- ½ cup of mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Stir together all of the ingredients and serve immediately, or (preferably) put in a tupperware, Gladware, or other tightly covered container in the refrigerator to give the flavours a chance to meld for an hour but up to three days prior to serving. Give it a gentle stir from top to bottom before serving.