Fresh Pea Salad Recipe

A pea salad jazzed up with spicy mint-date dressing and tossed with shredded romaine and toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch and texture. A tasty, off-beat, almost burner-free recipe.

Fresh Pea Salad
The truth is, I was all set to feature a recipe from the Wagamama Cookbook. I had the recipe all picked out. Then, in characteristicly random fashion, San Francisco decided to usher spring forth with an intense heat wave. That, of course, turns everything upside down in my world, because who wants to hang out in a 90 degree kitchen if you don't have to? The Wagamama recipe was on the intensive side, so that was out. On the other hand, it seemed a shame to go out to eat when my refrigerator was overflowing with the bulk of a CSA box a neighbor left with us, as well as all sorts of goodness from the Tuesday market. So, here's what I did...I jazzed up a pea salad with a spicy mint-date dressing and then tossed in some shredded romaine lettuce and a few toasted pumpkin seeds for added crunch and texture. Aside from a few minutes of burner time to blanch the peas it was a tasty, off-beat, burner-free recipe. Wayne showed up with some grilled tempeh and we made a nice meal of it. Fresh Pea Salad Recipe I love the minty, spicy, sweetness of this dressing. If you have any left-over you'll be able to use it on eggs, pasta, grains, and sandwiches. You can make this salad as-is, or build on the general concept. I can imagine adding a few cups of cooked wheat berries and having a great potluck salad on your hands. Or take it in an entirely different direction and toss in a pound of cooked ricotta raviolis. The one thing I would really encourage is here is sourcing good peas. This is the sort of salad that isn't quite the same when you use frozen peas. The farmers markets here have great peas this time of year, and if you don't mind splurging a bit you can often find pre-shelled peas.
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Fresh Pea Salad Recipe

If you end up with a dressing that is too spicy for your tastes, tame it with a dollop (or two) of plain yogurt. If you know you are sensitive to spiciness you can always remove the seeds and veins in future versions. If you like a bit more kick, add more serrano chile a small piece at a time.
1 cup fresh mint leaves 2 dried dates, pitted 1/2 of a small serrano chile, stem removed a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and zest from that lemon 1 1/2 cups fresh peas 1 small head of romaine lettuce, cut into shreds 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds fine grain sea salt
To make the mint-date dressing, puree the mint, dates, chiles and lemon juice and zest using a food processor or hand blender. Blend until uniform in texture. Thin it out by adding a tablespoon of water at a time until it is a consistency that you can drizzle (the photo up above is before I added 2-3 tablespoons of water to thin it out). Taste and adjust for lemon and spiciness. When you go to cook the peas, the key is not overcooking them. Fill a big bowl with ice water and set aside. Add some salt (as you would pasta water) and the peas. Bring six cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. You are just going to boil the peas for a very short time. Don't leave the stove. Somewhere between ten and twenty seconds.You want them just barely tender, so they still pop in your - mouth. Quickly drain and dunk the peas in the bowl of ice water. Just before serving gently toss the peas, lettuce, and pumpkin seeds with about half of the dressing and a couple pinches of salt. Taste and add more dressing if you like. Finish with a pinch or two of your favorite finishing salt. Serves 2 - 4.
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YUM!!! I think I'll make this tonight along with gnocchi in vodka sauce.


Michelle, for fresh shelling peas in the Boston area head to the farmer's markets (when they open...June around here? ugh), join a CSA, or go to Russo's in Watertown: 560 Pleasant Street. I don't know if they've got the shelling peas out quite yet, but they will!


It's so pretty. I am slightly jealous of fresh produce. It is still early spring here and not much growing yet. Except my indoor lettuce garden, It saves me!


Lovely salad, can't wait to try it. I'll follow your recipe exact to make it for my husband and mother. For me, I'll sprout the peas.


With mint overflowing in my backyard already, I am game for this. Anything green makes me so happy. Especially peas. I want to put this in some hand-made ravioli. I'll let you know how that turns out.

Angela@Spinach Tiger

Awesome! I have a question about fresh peas...why can't I ever find them? When I was a kid I remember my mom buying them and we'd sit together opening up the pods and retrieving our sweet reward. But now all I ever can find are frozen. Is Boston just too far out of pea country?

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

So perfect for spring! I bet a little ricotta salata would be nice in here as well. And may I say, you are really on a roll with the salad dressings. I'm loving the walnut miso one from a few posts back!


All I can say is YUM!!!!


You always find such pretty lettuces! I know it's just romaine, but the hearts are gorgeous. I'm so into all the green on green dishes this Spring, and this one is gorgeous! I'm also such a hard cheese fan and would consider a light sprinkle to this salad. Gran padano perhaps? Thanks for sharing the recipe, it's great.

Maggie at EatBoutique

Your dressing look delicious! with a salad, or perhaps with rice or pasta... nice idea, I'll try soon. Thank you...

Dominique (de vous à moi...)

This sounds great - perfect for Spring!


This is such an original recipe - I love it! I swear, dates are so underused - they taste so delicious and they are so healthy


I love greens! spring gives us a wonderful excuse indeed!


This looks fantastic. I just love fresh peas. You can even eat them raw and they are delicious! I have been eating as many of them as I can get my hands on. What a great idea to use that dressing for a sandwich.


I've been taking advantage of the fresh peas around this time of year as well! I love throwing them into pretty much everything. I'm so jealous of the Wagamama cookbook. I hope you'll be featuring some of their recipes soon! I go every time I'm in London.


Danica -- I highly recommend the Mariquita Farms CSA -- you get a great mixture of typical vegetables (cooking greens, onions, salad greens, artichokes) along with more unique vegetables (cardoon, amaranth greens, orach, fava beans etc). If you're down on the peninsula, Hidden Villa also has a good CSA, but you have to pick it up on the farm in Los Altos Hills, whereas Mariquita has drop off sites all over the bay area

Jen (Modern Beet)

Are you part of a CSA? I'm new to the Bay Area and am looking at the many options out there. I'd love a recommendation!


That looks delicious. I LOVE peas with lettuce and mint. The SF heat is killing my cooking aspirations as well...all of the sudden I have reverted back to my childhood predilection for OJ and PB&J. Great post and AMAZING pictures! Thanks!

Michelle @

I'm incredibly intrigued by the flavor combinations in this salad. Thanks for the wheat berry suggestion, I think it would make a perfect light lunch!


sounds like a great dish!


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