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06/22/2016

~ Lemony English Pea, Mint & Gold Potato Salad ~

IMG_8400The typical English pea salad, or English pea and potato salad, the one that graces picnic and potluck tables this time of year, has never been my cup of tea.  While I have no ax to grind with most of the mayonnaise and/or sour cream concoctions it gets dressed with, traditionally it is loaded with chunks of cheddar cheese and bacon bits too, which I think does those pretty, little, freshly-picked green jewels a disservice.  It's not easy being green -- please show some respect!

IMG_8373For me this is a KISS (keep it simple stupid) salad.  Why?  The moment you put a delicately-flavored ingredient like freshly-picked, freshly-steamed garden peas into a salad, in my mind, you relinquish your license to turn it into another kitchen-sink pasta or potato salad.  You are duty-bound to simply enhance their flavor, and, trust me when I tell you, my lemon-mint mayonnaise is the dressing that sets my version of the English pea salad apart from all others.  

It's bright & fresh, &, "please pass the cold pea salad" because it never tasted so good!

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c756d7fb970bFor the lemon-mint mayonnaise:

1  cup mayonnaise, homemade or the best available (read my post ~ How to:  Make Homemade Mayonnaise ~, in Category 15)

2 tablespoons each: lemon zest & lemon juice, from 1 large lemon

1  ounce coarsely-chopped, fresh mint leaves, 1 lightly-packed cup

2  teaspoons Greek seasoning

1  teaspoon sugar

a generous 1/4 teaspoon each: garlic powder, sea salt and white pepper

PICT1726Step 1.  Prep and measure all ingredients, placing them in a medium mixing bowl as you work. Note:  It's ok to add more zest, but do not add more than 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

PICT1728Step 2. Using a large spoon or spatula, thoroughly combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.  Overnight is best.

Note:  This thickens as it chills, so, it is best to chill it before stirring it into the peas and potatoes.

IMG_8366For the pea & potato salad:

12  ounces fresh garden peas, blanched in boiling, salted water for 3-3 1/2 minutes (2 cups)

16  ounces peeled & 1/2" cubed gold potatoes, cooked in boiling salted water until fork tender, about 4-4 1/2 minutes (2 cups)

1/2-1 cup lemon-mint mayo

ground sea salt, peppercorn blend & mint, for garnish

Note:  Occasionally, I add 4 hard-cooked and small-diced eggs to this salad.  It makes it a bit richer and creamier, and, it stretches the yield to 6 cups.  I leave that choice up to you.

IMG_8344 IMG_8357 IMG_8361 IMG_8364~Step 1.  In a 2-quart saucepan bring 1 quart of water to a boil and add 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Add peas.  Start timing immediately.  When water returns to a boil, adjust heat to a steady simmer and continue cooking until peas are almost cooked through, 3-3 1/2 minutes.  Do not overcook. Drain into a colander and run cold tap water through them to cool to room temperature and halt the cooking process.  Place peas on a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb excess water.

IMG_8345 IMG_8349 IMG_8354 IMG_8356~Step 2.  Peel and cube potatoes as directed.  In the same 2-quart saucepan, bring 1-quart of water to a boil and add 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Add potatoes.  Start timing immediately. When water returns to a boil, adjust heat to a steady simmer and continue cooking until potatoes are almost fork tender, 4-4 1/2 minutes.  Do not overcook.  Drain into a colander and run cold tap water through them to cool to room temperature and halt the cooking process.  Place potatoes on a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb excess water, patting potatoes dry from the top as well..

IMG_8381 IMG_8375Step 3. Place peas and potatoes in a large bowl and add 1 cup of chilled lemon-mint mayo.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold until both are enrobed in dressing.  Place bowl in refrigerator for 1-2 hours.  Fold again and add more dressing, in 1-2 tablespoon increments until desired flavor and consistency is reached.

Note:  As with most mayonnaise- or vinegar-based potato, pasta or 'slaw concoctions, salads "of this type", are best prepared a day ahead, to allow the flavors to marry, and, served very cold. 

Easy peesy English pea and potato salad -- my cup of tea!

IMG_8403Lemony English Pea, Mint & Gold Potato Salad:  Recipe yields 1 1/2 cups lemon-mint mayo and 4 generous cups pea and potato salad.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; microplane grater; 2-quart saucepan; colander; paper towels large rubber spatula

IMG_6608Cook's Note: My lemon-mint mayo is a condiment I keep around a lot in the Summer.  I like it in place of plain mayo in and on a lot of things, for example:  As a dressing for egg, chicken or tuna salad and slathered on a simple turkey sandwich. Another favorite creation of mine, ~ A Versatile Tex-Mex Condiment: Chile-Lime Mayo ~, can be found in Categories 8, 10, 13, 17 or 20.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2016) 

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