Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Pea Salad (with Bacon!)

Yesterday I shared a small slice of springtime with my grow-your-own-green-onions tutorial - and today I have a recipe to put them to good use!

I guess you could whip up this light, easy 'salad' any time of year, but for some reason I always associate it with springtime - perhaps because it's often a regular feature of Easter potlucks. In addition to being quick and easy to make, it's also a great way to incorporate peas in your diet (because how often do you cook up a big bowl o' peas?) and also makes a nice change from the usual broccoli salad or coleslaw.

Since Matt was skeptical when I mentioned I'd be making a pea salad, I decided I'd bring this along to a church potluck. Unfortunately, I had to cancel at the last minute, which left us with a big bowlful for just the two of us. I thought I'd be eating pea salad for the rest of my days, but as soon as Matt saw that it included bacon (that's right, BACON!), he was happy to test it out. I think I got maybe two servings before he'd finished the whole thing off - so it's definitely husband approved!

There are endless variations of this recipe - and now that Matt's convinced, I hope to test more of them out -  but this one is pretty darn tasty. Don't be afraid to have a little fun with your mix-ins, just be sure to use frozen peas (they're sweeter than canned, but softer than fresh)...and don't forget the bacon!

Spring Pea Salad
adapted from Savor Fare

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional - can be replaced with ranch powder for a tasty variation!)
1 (16-ounce) package frozen peas, thawed
8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, and crumbled (I used turkey bacon)
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped or 2-3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans, or 13 cup toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Ground pepper, to taste

In a medium mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until well blended. Gently stir in peas, bacon, onion, celery, and nuts. Toss thoroughly to coat. Season with pepper as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve (I recommend you chill for at least one hour to allow the flavors to come together).

A few notes: This dish is best eaten an hour or two after making. If you want to prepare it further ahead of time, reserve the bacon and nuts to add an hour or so before serving so they stay crisp. If the thought of all that mayonnaise scares you, you can substitute some sour cream or plain yogurt (you should be warned that I haven't tried a full substitution, but I don't see why it wouldn't work - if you try it, let me know!). Also, I've given a few suggestions for optional mix-ins, but you can really go wild here. The more veggies (and bacon) the better, right?

True confession: I used to hate peas as a schoolchild in England. I'd hide them under my baked potato skins when we passed our plates in at the end of our meal, in an effort to outfox our ever-watchful school mistresses. Of course, they were wise to such schoolgirl trickery, and one day I received a reprimand that I'll never forget; if they'd only served peas like this, that incident would never have happened!
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  1. This sounds wonderful, I love a pea salad bu this sounds much better than the one I usually make. I will be trying it out.
    Hugs, Cindy

  2. Rachel, its not lunch time yet, do you think it would be ok to have this awesome salad for breakfast? Hope you have a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  3. This looks really good as do all your recipes. Have a great weekend

  4. Yum! This pea salad looks delish! Wonderful recipe! I found you through flour me with love linky party! Have a fantastic week!

  5. This will be a hit at our house since we love peas! Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)

  6. Ooh, I make a pea salad sort of like this, but minus the bacon and a few of the other yummy ingredients. It looks really good. Lol, PS, I cook a big bowl of peas for my family pretty often.;)

  7. i'm thinking that this will be the perfect addition to our easter dinner this year! thanks for the reminder of just how yummy pea salad can be. pinned it :-) visiting from the girl creative link party.

  8. My mom used to make this but I haven't had it in years. Thanks for sharing, I think I'll add it to our Easter dinner!

  9. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you have a fabulous week end and enjoy you new Red Plate.
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  10. This sounds so yummy! I have never just thawed frozen peas and used them for something but I love eating them as a side dish. If it includes bacon, how can you go wrong?

    Claire @

  11. The bacon has me hooked!! Your photography is always so beautiful!

  12. I love pea salads. I will be trying this for sure.

  13. New reader here - I'm book marking this one! Thanks Miz Helen for pointing me in the direction of this salad.

  14. Riley and I will be trying this. My husband on the other hand can't handle peas. Thanks so much for sharing at Whimsy Wednesdays.

  15. This sounds delightful! And the bacon is a bonus :-) Thanks for sharing at Scrumptious Sunday!

  16. just wanted to let you know that i made this and it was the perfect addition to our easter dinner. i used whole grain dijon instead of worcestershire sauce, green onions, toasted almonds and omitted the sugar. it was soooo yummy! thanks for sharing!

    1. So glad you liked it - and I'm glad you put your own spin on it! Mustard is a great idea!!