Make Ahead

Picnic-Ready Lemon, Mint, Pistachio & Pea Salad

August 15, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Joni Goldbach
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

This is the kind of salad to make for a day at the beach or afternoon on the patio. Skip the utensils -- this fresh, bright salad is meant to be served in cups with potato chips to scoop directly into your mouth. Serve it with a cooler of ice-cold beer or seltzer. Cheers to picnic season!

I adapted this recipe from Peter Som's ingenious recipe for Spring Minty Pea and Pea Shoot Pesto Salad. The frozen peas make a brilliant base for a salad that will keep cool while sitting in the sun.

I felt compelled to make this with a vinaigrette combining my favorite flavor complements for peas -- lemon and mint. The dressing coats the frozen peas and helps bind them together. Pistachios add a welcome savory crunch.

Once the salad has been prepared, it can be stored in the freezer and used like an ice pack to keep the rest of your picnic cool. Let it sit out for at least 30 minutes to an hour before eating to let the peas thaw. Give it a shake or a stir before serving if the dressing has settled to the bottom. —Joni Goldbach

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 20 grams fresh mint (roughly 10 sprigs or a small clamshell)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 16 ounces bag of frozen peas
  • Maldon sea salt (or other flaky finishing salt)
  • potato chips (to serve)
  1. Chop up the pistachios and toast in a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. They will start to smell fragrant and toasty when ready. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Using a Microplane, finely grate the garlic clove and zest the lemon into a medium bowl. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze in the juice. Add salt (I use a 1/2 teaspoon) to highlight the flavors in the salad. Whisk in the olive oil a little at a time, pouring in a steady stream to make your vinaigrette.
  3. Finely chop the mint leaves and stems. Stir the mint, pistachios, and frozen peas into the vinaigrette. Let the salad sit out while you're prepping the rest of your meal or store in the freezer to use as an ice pack for a picnic.
  4. Serve in individual cups with a sprinkling of flaky finishing salt and potato chips to scoop.
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