My brother and I were (are) pretty good eaters. We ate just about everything and that included vegetables. Apart from my severe aversion to spaghetti, acorn, and butternut squash, I would devour each and every kind of salad my mom made. Just ask my lovely cousin Becky about the top notch salad making ability that my mom displayed. I’m wondering if it was the same kinds of bizarre gatherings of ingredients in this pea salad that helped inspire my mom when she put items like papaya, butter lettuce, red onions, and avocado into a bowl with a homemade dressing and BLAMMO! a heavenly salad was born.
This is going to be like one of those trust building exercises….you know the one….where someone falls backwards in complete faith that there are people behind them ready to catch them before they hit the ground. I’m no fool. I know what’s in this recipe and I’m here to tell you that I will be there to catch you before you hit the ground…..sweet gherkins and all.
Get a bowl…and get a-choppin’. Chop up everything fine, so it isn’t all clunky and beats up the tender peas once they are rolling around in the bowl together. Chop up your celery and walnuts. Chop up your small onion and by the way…I love onion, but that seemed like A LOT of onion, so I only used about half of a small onion, about the same amount as each of the other ingredients in there. Sweet gherkins: I hate them. I’m a dill girl all the way. The only thing I love about them are the fond memories they stir up of my cousin, Jen, and me stealing sweet pickles and black olives off of the dinner table at my Grandma’s house before dinner was served. I hate them, that is…until I had them in this salad. No joke. The sweet dilly-dalliness of it totally creates a harmonized balance with all the other crazy ingredients in there. Converted. The recipe calls for 3 pimientos. I have to be honest here….I didn’t really know what the original form of a pimiento looked like. I only knew of the jarred form. Apparently, they are cute little sweet peppers. I used the chopped jarred kind, though. I drained the jar and dumped them in.
Now that there is a party going on in that bowl, add the peas and gently mix all of the ingredients together. Here comes the Sophie’s Choice moment: Spoon it up on top of some lettuce and gobble it up OR mix in a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise and THEN spoon it up on top of some lettuce and gobble it up.
Either way, you win. Yummy!
- 1 package peas
- 1/2 small onion (chopped fine)
- 3 small sweet pickles (chopped fine)
- 1 small jar of chopped pimientos or 3 fresh pimientos (chopped fine)
- 1/2 c. celery (chopped fine)
- 1/2 c. walnuts (copped fine)
- Salt to taste
- Mayo garnish
- Mix together all ingredients, except peas.
- Stir in peas gently, so as not to crush.
- Mound on lettuce leaves.
- Top with/or mix in mayo, if desired.