Thursday, August 18, 2011

Serving Up {Salad}: Pesto Pea Salad

I love to try variations on salads.  The possibilities are endless and I really don't tire of anything green (doused in dressing that is).

I have a sister-in-law who I consider to be a gourmet cook.  She really is!  She also cooks very practically - utilizing veggies in season that she buys at the local farmer's market (that she walks to).  If there were anyone that I wish would begin blogging all of their recipes, it would be her.  Luckily, I do know that she frequents Martha Stewart and Ina Garten as sources for many of her recipes so that helps me in my quest to recreate her gourmet!  This salad is one that she brought to a family picnic and I promptly made myself to take to church BBQ.  It's super simply and a nice variation from your everyday green salad.

(recipe from Ina Garten)

2 cups frozen peas (I prefer petite peas)
2 Tbs. pine nuts, toasted
2 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
4 Tbs. pesto (I used jarred but you could make your own)
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Bacon, cooked and crumbled

Fill a pot with generously salted water and bring to a boil.  Add peas and cook for 1 minute.  Remove peas from heat and immediately immerse the peas in a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking.  Drain well once completely cooled.

Place spinach leaves in a medium sized bowl.  Sprinkle the peas and toasted pine nuts over the spinach.  Add the pesto and toss until well coated.

My own variation:
Garnish with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with cooked, crumbled bacon.

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