Sometimes I just want comfort foods- Even when it's not the most convenient thing to make or the easiest. Pea Salad, though, couldn't be simpler.
The English Pea Salad that I remember from my youth was made with canned peas, mayonnaise, chunks of cheddar (or Velveeta). And it was good as hell. I might be too snobby now to make pea salad this way, but I won't pretend like it wasn't ridiculously delicious or that I don't get warm fuzzy feelings every time I see a can of peas.
My pea salad starts with a garden, a co-op, a farmer's market or a CSA share. You'll need fresh peas for this. And you'll also need a few minutes to sit down and shell those peas. It's not hard, it just takes a few minutes. Just make your kids do it. Or do like I did and plop down at the table and shell peas while chatting with your sweetie.
I used a little over a 1/2 pound of peas in the shell for a salad for myself. So you'll need a big bag of shell peas for a crowd. I know it's selfish, but I never make fresh peas for my whole family. I wait until I'm cooking just for me and then get out the peas. Sorry, kids.
Here's what I like in my pea salad:
1/2 pound of shelling peas or "English peas", shelled
1 Tbsp. Veganaise
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1-2 tsp. grated or minced red onion (sweet onion would be awesome)
A few drops of rice vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Steam the shelled peas for maybe a minute- really just enough to turn them bright green. Taste one and you'll know when they're ready. Just please, whatever you do...Don't overcook them! Rinse in cool water to stop the cooking process. Add to a little bowl with remaining ingredients and stir until peas are coated in the creamy dressing. That's it!
You can add other veggies to this, but I'm a purist when it comes to pea salad. I don't like much else in there but peas.