This salad is great for late spring and summer when fresh peas begin to show up at the market. Actually, make it all year-long because it’s yummy with fresh or frozen peas. The combination of peas and butter lettuce makes for an almost creamy flavor. And I think you’ll love the mustard vinaigrette dressing because it adds a fresh tang to the salad. You could grill some salmon or chicken and lay it over the top and there’s your meal!
As a finishing touch, I’ve topped the salad with toasted macadamia nuts and clover blossoms. These final additions aren’t necessary to make the salad great but macadamia nuts add a toasty, rich flavor and I just happen to have chive blossoms blooming right now and they are oniony-delicious!
For a main dish or fancy first course, the salad looks impressive with the lettuce leaves fanned on a plate and the other ingredients arranged on top. But for individual side salads, chop the butter lettuce and toss everything together in one big bowl to pass around the table.
The dressing for this salad or even the vegetable fixings would be a great filling for my Salad Stuffed Shells.
Butter Lettuce and Spring Pea Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
- 2 cups shelled fresh peas or frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh dillweed
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil NOT extra virgin
- 1 small head Belgian endive lettuce
- 1 large head butter or Bibb lettuce separated into leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts toasted (optional)
- Chive blossom florets or snipped fresh chives optional
- If using fresh peas; fill a medium saucepan with water. Bring to boiling over high heat. Add peas; cook for 1 minute, stirring once. Immediately drain into a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain peas again and set aside. If using frozen peas; let peas thaw, rinse and set aside.
- Make the mustard vinaigrette; in a medium bowl combine dillweed, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt, and the 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the oil and whisk until fully blended. Add peas to vinaigrette; toss to coat.
- Slice endive in half lengthwise and remove core. Slice endive lengthwise into thin strips. Add endive to pea mixture; lightly toss to mix.
- Arrange lettuce on a plate; top with pea mixture. Sprinkle with additional pepper. If desired, top with nuts and chive blossom florets.
- Tip: Break the chive blossoms from the stem to get florets.
- Alternately, lightly tear butter lettuce into bite-size pieces and toss with pea mixture. Pass nuts and chive blossoms around table.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Garden Fresh cookbook.