Saturday, July 6, 2013

a most refreshing salad

This is one of my all-time favorite summer treats.

I learned to make it about a hundred years ago, from my dear friend Peter's college roommate, Rick.

Thank you, Rick!

And Peter? Thank you for the perfect combination of softly scrambled eggs with baked beans and sweet relish on the side.  I suddenly remember a summer day as hot as this one, sitting on the kitchen counter in your folks' house, sipping a cold bottle of beer and watching you scramble the eggs.

All these years later, I often make scrambled eggs with baked beans and relish.  Never as good as yours, though!

I made a bowl of pea and peanut salad for the Independence Day barbecue, because I couldn't think of anything more refreshing for a hot, steamy, July afternoon.

This was the first time I've made it with homemade mayonnaise, and oh my.  It was an improvement on an old favorite.

Have you ever tried pea and peanut salad?  Do you love it?

It's an unlikely-sounding combination for sure, but it is delightfully sweet and light and flavorful.  And versatile!  I had it for breakfast this morning.

If you'd like to give it a go, here is a sort-of "recipe."  Rick didn't have an actual recipe that I recall, and I take the "why measure?" approach to making it, and have never had a disappointment. Experimentation and adventure calls you!

Pea and Peanut Salad

frozen peas
Spanish Redskin peanuts
sour cream

Mix a generous dollop of mayonnaise with a smaller amount of sour cream.
Maybe two or three parts mayo to one part sour cream.

Mix some frozen peas with a smaller amount of peanuts.
Maybe four or six parts peas to one part peanuts.

Gently combine the two mixtures and chill.

That's it!

Using the peas while they are still frozen (but loose, not in a lump) means you can do the mixing without smooshing the peas at all.  They begin to thaw very quickly, though, and I like to eat at least a little bit of the salad immediately.
You know, just to decide whether it needs a little sprinkle of salt, or more peanuts or mayo or something.
Yes, that's why.
That, and because this salad is so tasty I can't put the bowl in the fridge without eating some first.

If you try it, please let me know how you like it!