Sweet Pea Salad

Radish. Dill. Shallots. Whole Grain Mustard. 

Before this weekend, I hadn't eaten a pea since I escaped the tyranny of the familial plate. Just kidding. Love you, Mom! However, Nani D., our resident PhD candidate at Chroma Kitchen, sent this recipe to me, and I am now fully on the pea wagon. Trust me. It's all in the dill. 

Serves one hungry girl three lunches and a mid-afternoon snack OR serves as the perfect dish to bring to a potluck, especially when accompanied by hummus, carrots, and a winning smile.

Ingredients

Salad Proper

  • 16 oz peas, frozen*
  • 1 bunch radishes, chopped
  • 3 or 4 shallots, sliced
  • 1/4 or 1/2 C dill, chopped + 5-6 dill sprigs for garnish

Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 C whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 C apple cider vinegar  
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • salt, as you like it
  • pepper, as you like it 

*To the clever person who bookmarks this recipe to make in April: Bravo! And, yes, please do use fresh, in-season peas from a farmer's market. For the rest of us, however: no one is mad about a frozen pea. 

Preparation

  1. Thaw/prepare peas according to the instructions on the package. Under no conditions are you permitted to overcook them. Allow peas to cool.
  2. Wash and chop radishes. If you have a mandolin slicer on hand, this is the moment you've been waiting for.
  3. Peel and slice shallots. 
  4. Rinse and dry dill. Remove small stems with dilly tops from the large, thick stems. Discard the thick stems and chop what remains until you have approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cups. I do not dissuade you from using a full 1/2 cup and beyond. 
  5. Combine peas, radishes, shallots, and dill in a big bowl. 
  6. Mix mustard, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil in a separate small bowl. Add salt and pepper to your taste. 
  7. Dress your pea and radish salad with mustard vinaigrette. Garnish with remaining dill sprigs and serve. 

Reasons to Love Peas

  1. Even though they're sweet and delicious, peas have a delightfully low glycemic load of only 4.1
  2. Green pea and legume consumption is strongly correlated to lower risk of type two diabetes. This may be due to their unique profile of phenolic acids and flavanols, in addition to their superlative fiber content. 2
  3. Green peas contain a polyphenol called coumestrol, which seems to protect against stomach cancer. Never a bad thing. 3
  4. Despite being a very low-fat food, peas are a good source of omega-3 fats in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This small amount of high quality fat enables them to provide valuable fat-soluble nutrients like beta-carotene and vitamin E.4
  5. Peas are a nitrogen-fixing crop! With the help of bacteria called Rhizobia, they replenish soil nutrients by converting nitrogen gas from the air to a more usable form of nitrogen in the soil, which other crops require to grow.5

Peas and legumes are not only amazingly healthy foods (the USDA recommends getting at least 3 cups in per week), but these crops are a very important part of sustainable farming systems. We can do our part as consumers by keeping up the demand for this wunderplants!

This is Nani, PhD Candidate in Victorian Literature and the brains behind this recipe. In addition to peas, she enjoys a savory oat dish. 

This is Nani, PhD Candidate in Victorian Literature and the brains behind this recipe. In addition to peas, she enjoys a savory oat dish. 

References

1 "Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load for 100+ Foods." Harvard Health Publications. Harvard Medical School, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.

2 "Green Peas." The World's Healthiest Foods. George Mateljan Foundation, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.

3 Hernandez-Ramirez R, Galvan-Portillo M, Ward M et al. Dietary intake of polyphenols, nitrate and nitrite and gastric cancer risk in Mexico City. Int J Cancer. 2009 September 15; 125(6): 1424-1430. 2009.

4"Green Peas." The World's Healthiest Foods. George Mateljan Foundation, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.

5 Bradtke, Birgit. "Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria - Rhizobia." Tropical Permaculture. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.