Green Pea Salad

If you are looking for a refreshing salad to serve this upcoming holiday weekend or at a picnic, potluck, or for an everyday meal, this green pea salad is versatile, budget friendly, and appeals to kids and adults alike. When I was a child, I was not a fan of “exotic” vegetables (like broccoli, asparagus, and cauliflower), but I LOVED green peas — fresh, frozen, canned — I never met a green pea I didn’t like.

Rather than just serving them unadorned, my Mom often made this dish to give me (and the rest of my family subjected to my limited vegetable repertoire) a bit of variety.  This salad is often found in Amish and Mennonite cookbooks, shows up at church suppers, and is on salad bars throughout the Pa. Dutch region.I have made this salad for many occasions, or no “occasion” at all except for myself and a trip down memory lane with that fussy kid who just loved peas! I sometimes substitute some good quality baked ham, cut in small cubes for the bacon called for in this version.

I like the “bite” of the cheese cubes in contrast to the crispy peas in this salad, so I normally cube the cheese but have also used shredded at times and it is just as delicious. I always buy a good quality (for me that translate into “name brand” bag of frozen peas to use in making this salad simply because I have found that the quality can differ between store brands; sticking to “the big names” in frozen peas yields far superior results — of course, your mileage may vary and the best advice is, as always, use what you like.  This salad is very open to adjustments to your individual taste.

Green Pea Salad

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: SaladsCuisine: Coal Region, Pa. DutchDifficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon

  • 1 (16 Ounce) bag frozen green peas

  • 1 1/3 cups mayonnaise

  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar (or to taste)

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup red onion, diced (per your taste)

  • 1 cup mild or sharp cheddar cheese, diced into 1/4 inch cubes OR shredded

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Fry bacon until crispy; remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Crumble then set aside.
  • Pour frozen peas into a colander, rinse with cold water until thawed, drain well and set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix together the mayonnaise, sugar, red onion, cheese, and crumbled bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add the frozen peas to the salad and stir gently until well combined.
  • Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.
  • Store in refrigerator in air tight container.

Notes

  • Use good quality frozen peas in making this salad simply because the quality can differ between store brands and name brand is usually superior.

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