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Pea Salad

Spring Pea Salad with Mozzarella and Pecan Pesto

Serves: 2

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Pecan Pesto
3/4 cup pecan pieces
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, leaves only
1 (0.75-ounce) package basil, leaves only
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pea Salad
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 cup English peas
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/2-inch-thick


To make the pesto: Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place pecans on a baking sheet roast until browned and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Transfer 1/2 cup of the cooled pecans to a food processor.

Add the parsley, basil, lemon zest and juice to the food processor and pulse the mixture until uniform. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture is thick and spreadable. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make the pea salad: Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. While the water is heating, fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the snap peas in batches to the boiling water and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately remove from the boiling water and plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Repeat with the remaining snap peas and English peas. Drain the cooled peas and shake off any excess water.

To serve, arrange the peas in a small pile on a serving plate. Top with two slices of mozzarella and drizzle with pecan pesto. Garnish with the remaining chopped pecans and serve.

About the recipe

A neutral cheese, such as a creamy mozzarella, truly enhances the subtle sweetness of fresh peas, but the pesto is what allows the dish to shine, as it brings nuttiness, acidity and herbaceous notes without overwhelming the other ingredients. When blanching green vegetables, make sure your water is as salty as the ocean before adding the veggies. Also, work in batches to ensure the water maintains a constant boil throughout.