A bright and fresh salad with three kinds of peas, pea shoots, mint, and feta. It’s a pea extravaganza!
My sweet boy is 15 months and 12 days old today. This is an age of significance to me because my sister and I are 15 months and 11 days apart, which means if I were my mom I’d have a 15-month-old AND a tiny newborn right now.
The question of if and when to try for a second child has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. My mom first brought it up when Niko was less than three weeks old, just a wee thing curled up on my chest, and I was like, “settle down, grandma!”
More recently it has been Paul, subtly and not-so-subtly, telling reminding me that our window is closing. I am aware that I’m of an “advanced maternal age” according to what “they” say, so I feel the pressure from all angles. We had definitely decided to go for a second. In fact, I thought by now we’d be trying again already. But lately I find myself relishing this one-on-one time with my sweet boy so much.
To say that I did not take kindly to becoming an older sister is a bit of an understatement. I love all of my siblings dearly, and am of particular closeness to the sister who is 15 months and 11 days behind me, but it took embarrassingly many years and a good amount of therapy to get myself to that point. Probably I am projecting quite a bit since I found the oldest sibling station so difficult myself, but I feel bad about the idea of introducing another person into our family so soon. I also have a hard time wrapping my head around loving another child as much as I do the first. Of course I know I’m being ridiculous, and I’m told time and time again that the heart just finds room. I just feel like I need a bit more time to come around to the idea, and, selfishly, a bit more time with just my boy.
This is a bit of a weird way to segue into a pea salad, except for the miraculousness of there being a pea salad to share at all. This past weekend I sacrificed a swim day to photograph a few recipes for the blog – something I can only do during daylight hours while my child is either asleep or out of the house. It’s a choice I was happy to make because this space is meaningful to me, and it satisfies both my creative and scientific sides in a way that I control fully. But it also feels very much like a juggling act a lot of the time. I narrowly avoided short-changing myself on nap time when I moved the photo backdrop and the noise woke him up, but luckily he settled and I got some half decent photos.
The salad itself comes together in a flash. It’s comprised of quickly blanched green peas (either fresh or frozen – I used frozen), sugar snap peas, snow peas, and pea shoots tossed together with a mint leaves and crumbled feta. Because I like my salads to have some heft I also tossed through some cooked and cooled kamut, which I marinated in a lemon-mint vinaigrette. Optionally topped with a perfectly cooked hard-boiled egg for satiating protein, this salad is a meal in of itself. It’s excellent for make-ahead meals, packed lunches, or picnic food, and is great eaten cold straight from the fridge, but is also perfectly willing to stand at room temperature for a couple of hours. Tasty enough for a fancy weekend meal but simple enough for a weeknight dinner, I hope you’ll give this simple seasonal salad a try.
Peas are low in fat, high in dietary fiber, and are a good source of protein, manganese, folate, vitamin B1, potassium, and phosphorous. The high fiber content in peas is thought to be helpful in lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar levels. Plus all that protein (1 cup of peas contains 8 grams of protein) and a good selection of vitamins and minerals? Pass the peas, please!
three pea salad with feta and mint
- 1 cup kamut use farro, or wheat berries if you can't find kamut
- 200 g about 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
- 150 g about 1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 150 g about 1 1/2 cups snow peas, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 50 g about 1 cup pea shoots, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 2 cups mint leaves
- 150 g package feta crumbled
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey or other liquid sweetener
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp dried mint
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
To cook the grain
- In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to the boil. Add a generous pinch of salt, and then add the kamut. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered until the grain is cooked but still toothsome. Drain any excess liquid, and rinse well under cold water.
To make the dressing
- Whisk together crushed garlic, lemon juice, honey, mustard, dried mint, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the cooked kamut and toss with a fork. Set aside so the grain can marinate while you prepare the rest of the salad.
To make the salad
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the green peas and boil for 2-3 minutes, until the peas are bright green but still very firm.
- In the last minute of cooking add the sugar snap peas and snow peas to blanch just slightly.
- Quickly drain the peas into a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well.
- Add the drained blanched peas into a large bowl. Toss with the mint leaves, crumbled feta, and marinated grain. Add the pea shoots and toss well.
- Spoon into bowls to serve.