Travel inspiration: Pea salads for spring

Hi! We’re back. We got back a week ago, but you know how that always goes. If you want to take a look at where we were and what we were doing, from my perspective (which means with very few pictures of me!), check out this Flickr set.

One lucky thing about this pregnancy is that it hasn’t changed my vegetable obsession, it’s just made me a bit lazier about cooking things myself. Salads, especially those that don’t rely too heavily on lettuce, make me very, very happy these days, and we ran into a brilliant combination several times on the Scotland leg of the trip: Peas, edamame, some sort of greens and a bit of cheese.

The first (and best) encounter was in the charming town of Plockton, near the Isle of Skye, which despite a tiny population is blessed with a handful of very good restaurants. At the Plockton Inn (needs redecorating but the food was excellent), we ordered the pea/edamame/asparagus salad as a starter, and then I tried to eat as much of it as I could without Ben noticing. Sadly, I’d already divided it between two plates before realizing how great it was.

Pea/edamame salad

Super, super simple, but incredibly tasty. The sweet English peas and earthier edamame are a great pairing.

Later, in a random pub in Edinburgh, we ordered something similar, this time with rocket (arugula) as the green, no asparagus, and with the addition of chunks of feta. This photo is truly terrible, but it was very dark and the one light was coming straight over my shoulder, making big shadows!

Pub grub

When we got to France, I was still thinking about those salads, so on our first night in the house we’d rented I made my own version, using little fava beans instead of edamame.

Market

Market spoils:

Produce

We just don’t have local produce like this here yet. It was luxurious.

Fava, pea, asparagus salad

Ben had never prepped fava beans before. He was taken aback by the layers of steps, but was an instant pro, especially at getting the pods open in one fell swoop. He cut the prep time by well more than half.

Fava, pea, asparagus salad

I popped a steamer basket in a pan of boiling water so I could use the same water to blanch the favas and the peas separately. Then I used it to steam the asparagus.

Fava, pea, asparagus salad

Fava, pea, asparagus salad

Such a tiny number of favas. I ALWAYS forget that you have to buy them by the kilo to have enough.

Fava, pea, asparagus salad

I mixed the blanched/cooled vegetables (I shocked everything in the coldest water I could get after cooking; I didn’t have any ice!) together with a mustard vinaigrette. That was a mistake; the mustard overwhelmed the little fava beans. But it was nice with the peas and asparagus.

Fava, pea, asparagus salad

Quiche for me, pizza for Ben, and bread, to go with the salad.

First night dinner

Last night I went for it again, this time using frozen shelled edamame from Trader Joe’s, and a handful of rather elderly-looking English peas from Whole Foods (via god knows where; LOCAL VEGETABLES, PLEASE ARRIVE).

Once again, I cooked the vegetables separately (the peas need 30 seconds, max, and the frozen edamame closer to 5 minutes), then shocked them in ice water to stop the cooking.

Pea and Edamame Salad

This time I just dressed them with lemon juice and good olive oil, salt and pepper (same for the salad greens, in a different bowl):

Pea and Edamame Salad

When Ben got home, I topped the greens with the peas/beans, to which I had added a bit of marinated feta from the WF antipasto bar.

Pea and Edamame Salad

And we ate on the porch—hurray!

Pea and Edamame Salad

With a handful of cherries for dessert:

Cherries

I hope Ben doesn’t get sick of this anytime soon, because I’m planning on making a million versions of it this summer. Slightly mashed and spread on bruschetta! Served with buffalo mozzarella! On top of fish!

P.S. Vote for Renee‘s community garden grant proposal! Vote here.

6 thoughts on “Travel inspiration: Pea salads for spring”

  1. Welcome back! This looks fantastic, I can’t wait for the flowers on my pea plants to turn into actual edible peas… I’ll have to try this 🙂

  2. it’s always so hard to read your blog mid-morning. . .makes my tummy rumble!
    Congratulations on your own little “rumbling tummy” 🙂 and thanks so much for the link love!

  3. I made your second version of this tonight, and it was the perfect hot weather meal. And it was quick and easy enough that I (who never cooks) could make it for my boyfriend before he got home. Thanks for making me look good!

  4. Thanks, Adrienne and Renee!

    Brenda, I’m SO glad you enjoyed it! I ate leftovers for lunch right after writing the post, and while the lemon juice had made some of the edamame discolor a bit, it was still delicious. I think it would be great as a packed lunch or for a picnic.

  5. That looks like a great green meal. Pizza homemade? Love your pics from your trip — you are a handsome couple and the soon to be plus one. HA The beautiful striped fabric–where,etc.
    I enjoy your blog,
    BarG

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