My Recipe Box

Pea, Butter Lettuce & Herb Salad

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Serves four.

This salad is best with very fresh, young peas that are tender enough to be eaten just barely blanched or even raw.

  • 1 cup fresh shelled peas (about 1 lb. unshelled) or frozen peas
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small head butter lettuce, washed and dried, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
  • 6 medium radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 scallions (white and light-green parts), thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh chervil leaves
  • 2 Tbs. very coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 Tbs. thinly sliced chives
  • 3 oz. ricotta salata, shaved thinly with a vegetable peeler (optional)

If using fresh peas, sample them. If they are young, sweet, and tender, keep them raw. If they are older and a bit tough, blanch them in a small pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain and spread them on a baking sheet in a single layer to cool. If using frozen peas, thaw them by leaving them at room temperature or by running them under warm water.

In a small bowl, whisk the oil with the lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving, toss the peas in a small bowl with 1 Tbs. of the dressing. Toss the butter lettuce, radishes, scallions, and herbs in a large bowl with just enough of the remaining dressing to lightly coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange the salad on individual serving plates and top with the peas and the ricotta salata (if using).

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 190; Fat (g): 15; Fat Calories (kcal): 130; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 8; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 360; Cholesterol (mg): 10; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Couldn't find chervil, but added lots of cilantro instead. The peas at the market weren't very appetizing, but frozen work really well. I've served it several times and wanted a change to the dressing, so added a few teaspoons of apricot vinegar to the dressing, it went great with the sweetness of the peas. Everyone raves about it: the radishes and green onion remind you of salads from childhood, but the herbs add a contemporary touch.

Loved this salad - such a delicious and light meal paired with the steak & balsamic onion/tomato salsa. I used basil, parsley and cilantro as a previous reviewer did and loved the combo. Ricotta insalata was nowhere to be found so I substituted fresh parmesan because I had it...still delicious! My guest commented on the flavors AND the beautiful presentation it gives.

Loved this recipe. Everything so crisp and green! Flavours of the dressing with the salad went really well together. If you don't want to take the time to shell fresh peas, run frozen ones under cold water and add to salad. I had a hard time finding some of the fresh herbs, such as chervil and tarragon, but I tossed in basil, cilantro and flat leaf parsley, and it was great. Perfect light dinner salad with a piece of grilled chicken or fish. Don't need anything else.

This salad was just great--the herbs really freshened it up and I thought the combo of the peas, radishes, and lemon dressing made for an excellent new twist on a garden salad. I wouldn't skip the ricotta salata--the salty cheese really makes all the flavors sing. I could have eaten this as a (light) dinner, particularly with the addition of some protein (like turkey breast or a filet of fish). Great for any night of the week but certainly elegant enough to serve to a dinner party!

This was a perfect spring salad! It was light, refreshing, and delicious. I used the parsley and tarragon, but not the chervil; frozen petite peas, rather than fresh. The dressing highlighted the flavors without overwhelming anything! Really lovely.

Excellent combination of flavors (although I didn't have any chervil). Served with salmon. Very good!

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